Public-speaking fear is a threat of being publicly criticised, scrutinised, or embarrassed whilst giving a speech in front of an audience. The person fears that their performance will have a devastating effect on them and they would not be able to perform adequately. The overall aims of this two-part study are to (i) to explore the links between students’ beliefs and feelings about public speaking and certain personality factors; and (ii) assess whether gradually increasing self-guided exposure to a virtual audience whilst giving a speech in a virtual lecture theatre is helpfulin reducing public speaking anxiety in students. The outcomes of this study would indirectly inform teaching and learning practice.
What would my participation involve?
This research is split into two parts:
Part 1 (the current study): All undergraduate and Masters students aged 18+ are eligible for this study, which involves completing an online survey about your confidence or anxiety and avoidance of public speaking, social anxiety and general personality. The questionnaires are expected to take approximately 20 minutes. Participants will be entered into a prize draw for a £25 Amazon voucher. Additionally, NTU Psychology students will receive 3 SONA credits as remuneration.
Participants will receive the option of leaving their contact details. Should you be eligible for Part 2 of the study, we will contact you with further information and an invitation to partake in the experimental part of this study. If you are not interested or not eligible for the second part of this study, this will conclude your participation.
Part 2: Eligible and interested participants will be invited to an experiment that will use virtual reality (VR) equipment, which will be held at Nottingham Trent University City Campus on two separate days within two consecutive weeks. In each of the two 1-hour sessions, you will be asked to give a 20-minute talk in front of a virtual audience on your experience of being a student. You will be given slides by the system as prompts of things you could talk about. Throughout the speech, you will be able to alter your environment such as changing the size and reaction of the virtual audience. Approximately 4 weeks after your participation in the experiment we will ask you to complete a brief online measure. You will receive a £10 Amazon voucher foreach of the two lab visits, plus an extra 15 SONA credits following completion of the full study.
We are seeking under-graduate and post-graduate students aged 18 and over for Part 1- the online study. Thus, whether or not you are anxious about giving verbal presentations and speaking in groups, we would like you to take part in our online study. Selection criteria will apply for Part 2, which will be assessed in the online survey.
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