ERIC Number: ED261283
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-May-3
Reference Count: 0
Test Anxiety, Persistence, and Response Withholding under Conditions of Repeated Failure.
Geen, Russell G.
Although research suggests that highly test anxious subjects are often motivated to escape from situations in which they are being evaluated, many persons in experimental situations do not see escape as an option. To examine the behavior of test anxious persons in aversive test situations, 60 college students, who were assessed as being high or low in test anxiety by their scores on the Test Anxiety Scale, attempted to solve an unsolvable line-tracing task under ego-involving test conditions. By means of instruction, the experimenter created weak, moderate, and strong levels of constraint against leaving. An analysis of the mean time subjects spent on the task for each experimental condition revealed that the high test anxiety-weak constraint condition was associated with a significantly shorter period of time on task than any other condition. Under weak constraint, high test anxiety subjects chose to escape more often than did low test anxiety subjects. Other results indicatd that subjects in the high test anxiety-strong constraint condition worked more slowly than did low test anxiety subjects under strong constraints. This finding, in conjunction with subjects' self-reports of their efforts to solve the task, lends support to the hypothesis that high test anxiety subjects with no easy escape will perform the task with greater caution. (NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of Midwestern Psychological Association (57th, Chicago, IL, May 2-4, 1985).