Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 178–192 | Cite as

What If I Appear Boring, Anxious, or Unattractive? Validation and Treatment Sensitivity of the Negative Self Portrayal Scale in Clinical Samples

  • David A. Moscovitch
  • Karen Rowa
  • Jeffrey R. Paulitzki
  • Martin M. Antony
  • Randi E. McCabe
Original Article


A recently developed self-report questionnaire, the Negative Self Portrayal Scale (NSPS; Moscovitch and Huyder in Behav Ther 42:183–196. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2010.04.007, 2011) assesses concerns about appearing socially incompetent, physically unattractive, and/or visibly anxious to evaluative others. Initial validation studies of the NSPS yielded promising results but were conducted exclusively on samples of undergraduate students. Here, we aimed to replicate and extend those initial studies by examining the factor structure, construct validity, and treatment sensitivity of the NSPS in samples of community-based participants with a principal diagnosis of social anxiety disorder (SAD), a principal anxiety disorder diagnosis other than SAD, or no history of psychological problems. Results provided support for the construct validity of the NSPS within clinical samples and suggested that the types of concerns assessed by the NSPS and its subscales may be useful for predicting individual differences in emotional and behavioral symptoms of social anxiety (SA) and for conceptualizing change processes during cognitive behavioral therapy for SAD. Confirmatory factor analyses indicated that while the hypothesized three-factor model fit significantly better than an alternative one-factor model, the fit indices associated with the three-factor model were below satisfactory cutoffs, thus tempering conclusions that the best fitting structure was found and highlighting the need for additional research. Implications of these findings are discussed vis-à-vis Moscovitch’s (Cogn Behav Pract 16:123–134. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpra.2008.04.002, 2009) theoretical model of SA and the potential utility of the NSPS for both clinical research and practice.


Social anxiety Self-portrayal NSPS Factor analysis Validity Reliability CBT 



This research was undertaken thanks to funding from the Canada Research Chairs Program and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. We are grateful to Lisa Young, Maria Ierullo, and Brenda Chiang for collecting and compiling data, and to staff and patients at the Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre, whose cooperation and help were invaluable.

Conflict of Interest

David A. Moscovitch, Karen Rowa, Jeffrey R. Paulitzki, Martin M. Antony, and Randi E. McCabe declare that there have no conflicts of interest.

Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (national and institutional). Informed consent was obtained from all individual subjects participating in the study. If any identifying information is contained in the paper the following statement is also necessary. Additional informed consent was obtained from any subjects for whom identifying information appears in this paper.

Animal Rights

No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Moscovitch
    • 1
  • Karen Rowa
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jeffrey R. Paulitzki
    • 1
  • Martin M. Antony
    • 4
  • Randi E. McCabe
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Centre for Mental Health ResearchUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Anxiety Treatment and Research ClinicSt. Joseph’s Healthcare HamiltonHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural NeurosciencesMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada

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