Fear of negative evaluation (FNE), also atychiphobia, is a psychological construct reflecting "apprehension about others' evaluations, distress over negative evaluations by others, and the expectation that others would evaluate one negatively". The construct and a psychological test to measure it were defined by David Watson and Ronald Friend in 1969. FNE is related to specific personality dimensions, such as anxiousness, submissiveness, and social avoidance. People who score high on the FNE scale are highly concerned with seeking social approval or avoiding disapproval by others, and may tend to avoid situations where they have to undergo evaluations. High FNE subjects are also more responsive to situational factors. This has been associated with conformity, pro-social behavior, and social anxiety.
Tormented by the 1986 Challenger explosion, National Aeronautics and Space Administration's, NASA's, new shuttle programme advances warily in fear of another crash.