ERIC Number: ED113022
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Apr-13
Reference Count: 0
Test Anxiety and Off-Task Behavior in Evaluative Situations.
Nottelmann, Editha D.
An experiment was performed to assess if, and how, attention to a problem solving task varies with anxiety level. It was hypothesized that high anxious children would glance away from a task more often than less anxious children, in light of research literature which suggests that high anxious children are inattentive to tasks in order to avoid evaluation. Subjects were 48 fourth and fifth graders. The children were videotaped through a one-way mirror while they performed timed anagram tasks in the presence of a male experimenter working on a similar task. Results showed that less anxious children performed better at the anagram task than anxious children. High anxious children also were observed to engage in significantly more off-task behavior and more glancing away from their task than less anxious children. Research on family interaction patterns associated with high and low levels of anxiety and distractibility in fourth and fifth graders is discussed in view of the results of this study. It is suggested that parents of highly distractible and anxious children may be teaching their children to respond to problem-solving situations with task-inappropriate and dependent behavior, at the expense of task performance. (BRT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Denver, Colorado, April 10-13, 1975)