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Reducing Anxiety Christine Velardi. The Power of Positive Recollections: Reducing Test Anxiety and Enhancing College Student Efficacy and Performance.

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Presentation on theme: "Reducing Anxiety Christine Velardi. The Power of Positive Recollections: Reducing Test Anxiety and Enhancing College Student Efficacy and Performance."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reducing Anxiety Christine Velardi

2 The Power of Positive Recollections: Reducing Test Anxiety and Enhancing College Student Efficacy and Performance By Donna Webster Nelson and Ashley E. Knight

3  This study is looking to develop an intervention for reducing test anxiety and raising confidence and performance in a sample of college students. The intervention would focus on targeting positive emotions and thoughts. Purpose

4  The individuals in a positive-thought condition, as compared to a control condition, are more likely to report positive affect and less negative affect. These individuals will be more optimistic when taking a quiz and experience less anxiety as well as being more confident and higher performance expectations. Hypothesis

5  This study consisted of 118 participants, 77 female and 41 male.  From an introductory psychology class  These students were told that a pop quiz would be administered to everyone following the completion of a voluntary writing task and self-report survey.  Students received course credit for participation. Participants

6  Participants were randomly assigned to one of the two writing tasks:  Positive-thought condition: Students were asked to write about a past “peak experience in which they coped with a challenge in a successful manner and experienced feelings of joy and pride.  Describe feelings and what experience meant to them.  Control Condition: Students were asked to write about their morning routines. Procedure

7  After the writing task, participants were asked to respond to a series of self-reported items.  Indicated on Positive and Negative Affect Scale the extent of which they were experiencing a set of positive and negative emotions. A 5-point Likert scale was used to rate each emotion: 1 (not at all)- 5 (extremely)  Negative emotions: distressed, upset, guilty, scared, hostile, irritable, ashamed, jittery, and afraid  Positive emotions: interested, excited, enthusiastic, proud, alert, inspired, determined, attentive, and active Procedure (Cont.)

8  Participants were asked to respond to three items which are designed to tap their appraisals of the upcoming stressor.  Indicated the extent to which they were confident about the upcoming quiz.  Rated how likely it was that they would perform well on a 5-point scale. (1-not at all- 5-extremely)  Estimated what their grades would be (1- score of F- 5- score of A). Procedure (Cont.)

9  Participants indicated the state of optimism experienced through a set of nine items that were adapted from the Life Orientation Test.  Extent to which expected the best, found it easy to relax, would look on the bright side, felt good, did not expect to do well, did not expect things to work out well  All items were worded in a way to relate to the upcoming quiz. Procedure (Cont.)

10  Participants responded to set of 20 items from the Test Anxiety Inventory. Items were adjusted to be in relation to the upcoming quiz.  Items assessed thoughts and feelings, uneasiness taking quiz, expected to freeze up, self-defeating thoughts during quiz.  Rated on a 4-point scale (1-not at all- 4-very much so).  After completing the survey items, a 15 questioned pop quiz was administered to the class. Procedure (Cont.)

11  Positive-thought condition compared to Control Condition  More likely to report experiencing positive affect.  Less likely to report experiencing negative affect.  More likely to report an optimistic attitude  Experienced less test anxiety  Expressed a more favorable appraisal of their ability  Performed better on the quiz Results

12 Comparison of Anxiety Management Training and Desensitization in Reducing Test and Other Anxieties By: Jerry L. Deffenbacher and John L. Shelton

13  It was predicted that both desensitization and anxiety management training would show significant reduction of test anxiety; these gains would be maintained at the follow up. By the follow up, anxiety management training would show greater reduction of non-targeted anxieties than desensitization. Hypothesis

14  There were 43 clients (30 female and 13 male) from test anxiety program offered by a university counseling center.  Clients were randomly assigned to either desensitization or anxiety management.  One client dropped from desensitization and two from anxiety management.  22 desensitization and 18 anxiety management Participants

15  A week before first session clients completed:  Test Anxiety Scale- 37 item, true-false, self reported anxiety in testing situations.  Test Anxiety Behavior Scale- 50 item Likert inventory measuring self reported test anxiety.  Fear Inventory- Likert type questionnaire assessing self reported anxiety in 87 separate situation.  Trait Anxiety Inventory- 20 item Likert type instrument measuring general or trait anxiety. Procedure

16  Clients were counseled for five weeks for 45 minutes in the counseling center as groups (6-10 members).  Desensitization group experienced training in deep muscle relaxation, visualization of neutral images, and hierarchy construction.  Third session began a 8 item hierarchy.  Scenes were exposed 10 seconds, then 20 seconds, and then 30 seconds; than next scene was introduced.  Each scene followed by one minute of relaxation instruction and sessions began with last scene from prior scene Procedure (Cont.)

17  Anxiety management contained the same steps as desensitization except creating a hierarchy.  Instead, clients developed a single highly stressful anxiety arousing scene. Ex: final exam, giving speech  Last 3 sessions, the scene was presented repeatedly, asked clients to visualize the scene, and focus on anxiety cues.  Than two minutes, clients were asked to remove the scene and focus on relaxing.  After a few minutes of relaxing, scene was re-presented. Procedure (Cont.)

18  There was no significant main effects or interactions for sex of subject.  Test Anxiety Scale results:  Both groups showed significant pre-treatment-post- treatment reduction and did not differ significantly from on another at post-treatment.  At follow up, both groups reported less test anxiety than prior to treatment but anxiety management training group reported significantly less test anxiety. Results

19  Fear Inventory results:  Both groups produced significant reduction on the Fear Inventory.  Non-significant gains were made from post-treatment to follow up for both groups.  Trait Anxiety Inventory results:  At follow up the anxiety management group reported significantly less anxiety on the Trait Anxiety inventory.  Test Anxiety Behavior Scale results:  Both groups showed significant pre-treatment-post-treatment reductions, these gains were maintained at follow-up, and groups did not differ significantly from one another at either post-treatment or follow up. Results (Cont.)

20  Test Anxiety Scale was uncorrelated with other measures.  Test Anxiety Behavior Scale, Fear Inventory, and Trait Anxiety Inventory were significantly interrelated.  Test Anxiety Behavior Scale and Fear Inventory were significantly correlated for post-treatment and follow up. Conclusion

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