Mindfulness and Test Performance Público

Siegelman, Asher Evan (2011)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/mg74qm81d?locale=es


Mindfulness and Test Performance
By Asher Evan Siegelman
Most college students report experiencing test anxiety at some point in their education; 15-20%
report levels that interfere with performance. Mindfulness meditation coupled with relaxation
has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, but little has been done to determine the impact of
mindfulness techniques on test performance. Mindfulness is enhanced attention and awareness
to the present moment. This study was conducted to both determine the impact of mindfulness
on test performance and whether mindfulness is a cognitive skill or a cognitive skill coupled with
relaxation. Fifty-six undergraduates were randomly assigned to mindfulness meditation training,
cognitive skills training, or music relaxation. After a week of 20 minute daily mindfulness
meditation, cognitive skills acquisition or listening to relaxing music, the participants were
exposed to a mild stressor and then tested with a spatial reasoning task. They then took course
examinations on their regular schedule. There were no significant group differences in
performance on the spatial reasoning task, but all groups performed at an advanced level.
Classroom performance was not significantly different between groups. The hypotheses of this
study were not supported. Planned contrasts revealed that the music control functioned as a third
type of cognitive training due to high levels of self-reported focus. Future research would need
to utilize a relaxation technique that functions as an active control.

Table of Contents




Research on Test Anxiety 4

Meditation 11

Meditation and Test Performance 15

Mindfulness 18

Relaxation 19

Mindfulness and Test Performance 19

Pilot Study 20

Statement of the Problem and Hypotheses 20


Participants 21

Design Strategy 21

Materials 22

Measures 22

Procedure 24



Limitations 32

Implications and Future Research 32

References 33


Table 1: Sample Characteristics 37

Table 2: Revised Test Anxiety Measures 38

Table 3: Practice and Relaxation Checks 39

Table 4: Stress Manipulation Checks 40

Table 5: Laboratory and Classroom Test Performance 41

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