Background: A self-verification model of social anxiety views negative social self-esteem as a core feature of social anxiety. This core feature is proposed to be maintained through self-verification processes, such as by leading individuals with negative social self-esteem to prefer negative social feedback. This model is tested in two studies. Methods: In Study 1, questionnaires were administered to a college sample (N = 317). In Study 2, questionnaires were administered to anxiety disordered patients (N = 62) before and after treatment. Results: Study 1 developed measures of preference for negative social feedback and social self-esteem, and provided evidence of their incremental validity in a college sample. Study 2 found that these two variables are not strongly related to fears of evaluation, are relatively unaffected by a treatment that targets such fears, and predict residual social anxiety following treatment. Conclusions: Overall, these studies provide preliminary evidence for a self-verification model of social anxiety.