Mindfulness and Test Performance Público

Siegelman, Asher Evan (2011)

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

Abstract
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

ABSTRACT

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

INTRODUCTION 3

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

METHOD 21

Participants 21


Design Strategy 21


Materials 22


Measures 22


Procedure 24

RESULTS 26

DISCUSSION 29

Limitations 32


Implications and Future Research 32


References 33

TABLES 37

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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