Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Imagination, Cognition and Personality 9:1 (1989–1990), pp. 49–66.

doi: 10.2190/VR76-9GEF-JVBW-V5UB


Copyright © 1989 Baywood Publishing Co., Inc./Sage. Used by permission.


An analysis of the literature related to public speaking anxiety (PSA) and various treatments of it are discussed. PSA is a state or situational type of anxiety which can have tremendous effects on those who suffer from it. Two of the major treatments—systematic desensitization (SD) and the integrative approach (IA)—are reviewed and then experimentally tested to determine which is the more effective in treating PSA. The results are somewhat inclusive, but there is strong evidence to suggest that both SD and IA reduce trait and state anxiety. It was found, however, that IA is more effective in decreasing the symptoms associated with PSA.