Statistical methods designed for categorical data were used to perform confirmatory factor analyses and item response theory (IRT) analyses of the Fear of Negative Evaluation scale (FNE; D. Watson & R. Friend, 1969) and the Brief FNE (BFNE; M. R. Leary, 1983). Results suggested that a 2-factor model fit the data better for both the FNE and the BFNE, although the evidence was less strong for the FNE. The IRT analyses indicated that although both measures had items with good discrimination, the FNE items discriminated only at lower levels of the underlying construct, whereas the BFNE items discriminated across a wider range. Convergent validity analyses indicated that the straightforwardly-worded items on each scale had significantly stronger relationships with theoretically related measures than did the reverse-worded items. On the basis of all analyses, usage of the straightforwardly-worded BFNE factor is recommended for the assessment of fear of negative evaluation.