Developing and piloting a dot-probe measure of attentional bias for test anxiety

Putwain, Dave, Langdale, Hannah, Woods, Kevin and Nicholson, Laura (2011) Developing and piloting a dot-probe measure of attentional bias for test anxiety. Learning and Individual Differences, 21 (4). pp. 478-482. ISSN 1041-6080 DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2011.02.002

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Abstract

Attentional bias is a key area of research in the clinical and trait anxiety literature. In test anxiety research, however, protocols and measures have yet to be reported. Accordingly, we describe the development of a dot-probe measure of attentional bias for test anxiety. This measure was piloted on a sample of undergraduate students who completed a short, timed, cognitive ability test under high and low performance-evaluation threat conditions. As expected, highly test anxious persons reported an attentional bias towards threat stimuli under the high performance-evaluation threat condition only, consistent with a switch from an avoidant to a vigilant mode of processing. Under the low performance-evaluation threat condition, both high and low test anxious persons showed a bias away from threat stimuli. These findings suggest that test anxiety, like clinical and high trait anxiety is also characterised by attentional bias where a disproportionate amount of attentional resource is directed towards corresponding threat (i.e. test-related) stimuli.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Psychology
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2011 11:14
URI: http://repository.edgehill.ac.uk/id/eprint/3463

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