Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2018

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr Tonya Buchanan

Second Committee Member

Dr Terrence Schwartz

Third Committee Member

Dr Kara Gabriel

Fourth Committee Member

Dr Mary Radeke

Abstract

Academic tests such as the American College Testing (ACT), Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), and National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) have been used to assess academic aptitude. Research suggests that both test anxiety and test emotions (positive and negative) influence academic performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of test anxiety and uncertainty (i.e., re-checking items) on performance and test emotions. It was hypothesized that induced checking and participant anxiety would negatively predict performance and positive testing emotions, and positively predict negative testing emotions. It was also hypothesized that induced checking and anxiety would interact, with anxiety levels affecting performance and emotion more strongly when induced checking occurs (compared to a control condition). A sample of (N = 332) participants completed the Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI) (Spielberger, 1980), the Academic Emotions Questionnaire (AEQ) (Pekrun, Goetz, & Frensel, 2005), and completed a 10-item reading comprehension assessment taken from the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2017). Participants were randomly assigned to a check or no check condition, in which they were or were not given prompts to check answers periodically throughout the academic assessment.. Results of multiple regression analyses suggest that test anxiety acted as a predictor for academic test performance, and positive and negative test emotions as hypothesized. The interaction was marginally significant, suggesting that anxiety predicted increased negative test emotions, and this effect may be exacerbated for participants assigned to the checking condition.

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