2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Strengths and Weaknesses in Test-Taking: In What Ways Do Anxiety and Impulsivity Impact Test Performance?
Nicholas C. Jacobson*, Peter M. Ruberton, Jordan M. Constance, Jennifer Pearlstein, and Lindsey Bangert
Dr. Jeffrey R. Vittengl, Faculty Mentor

Previous research has not fully addressed the relationships between anxiety, impulsivity, and test performance. This study investigated these relationships to determine whether anxiety and impulsivity are independent, overlapping, or interacting predictors of test performance. Undergraduate participants (N = 186) completed two measures of anxiety, two measures of impulsivity, and a computerized general-knowledge multiple-choice test. The multiple-choice test included the following intervals: normal, forced delay, and forced maximum response times. We used repeated measures multilevel models predicting the accuracy of test responses, response time, answer-changing frequency, and answer-changing net-score from the anxiety and impulsivity measures; additionally, the models simultaneously controlled for differences in academic aptitude (as measured by ACT scores). Neither anxiety nor impulsivity predicted significant changes in accuracy, response time, or answer-changing frequency; however, impulsivity predicted answer-changing net score. These results suggest that anxiety and impulsivity do not coincide with testing deficits, but rather predict changes in testing style.

Keywords: Testing, Multiple-Choice, Anxiety, Impulsivity, Strategies

Topic(s):Psychology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 20-3
Location: MG 2001
Time: 10:00

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