Context-based apprehension versus planning demands: A communibiological analysis of anticipatory public speaking anxiety

Michael J. Beatty, Kristin Marie Valencic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


In recent years, communication scholars have turned their attention toward the etiology of communicator traits, including communication apprehension. Three general models of communication apprehension development have been proposed: (1) genetics, (2) social learning, and (3) inadequate skills acquisition. In general, scholars tend to view none of these models as sufficient, opting instead to conclude that communication apprehension probably results from a combination of all three factors. Beatty and McCroskey's communibiological model, however, places inborn, individual differences in the sensitivity of neurobiological systems at the center of communication apprehension. Although the communibiological perspective has been compared to learning perspectives on communication apprehension, proponents of the communibiological perspective have not considered the predictive power of the skills acquisition approach. In the present study, hypotheses derived from the skills acquisition literature were tested. Specifically, demand for speech preparation skills and trait public speaking apprehension were compared as predictors of state anxiety experienced immediately before a graded classroom performance. Consistent with extant research, public speaking apprehension significantly predicted anticipatory anxiety. However, no significant effect was observed for planning skills. Findings are examined within the context of the skills acquisition literature, communibiological theory and classroom applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-71
Number of pages14
JournalCommunication Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Anticipatory public speaking anxiety
  • Communibiology
  • Communication apprehension
  • Planning
  • Skills acquisition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics


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