Effects of anxiety and achievement motivation in stress and non-stress situations.

Measurements were made of the Test Anxiety level and Achievement Motivation level of 174 third, fourth, fifth, and sixth 9rade boys. One-half the subjects, balanced for grade level, were given five, two-minute, digit symbol exercises under non-stress instructions. The other half of the subjects received stress instructions for the same digit symbol exercises. Under an analysis of covariance on repeated measures, where scores on the dependent variable were adjusted for both age and IQ of the subjects, the following results obtained: 1) the hypothesis that subjects high in Achievement Motivation would perform better on the criterion measure than subjects low in this motive received only weak support. 2) the hypothesis that high anxiety subjects would score lower on the criterion measure than low anxiety subjects was not confirmed. 3) the hypothesis that under stress, the performance of high anxiety subjects would be lower relative to their performance under non-stress instructions, and low anxiety subjects would do better under stress was not supported. 4) an hypothesized 11greatest difference 11 score between experimental subgroups was found but was not tested for significance. 5) an unexpected significant result, that high n Ach subjects do better under non-stress than under stress, and low n Ach subjects do better under stress than nonstress, was found. various theoretical positions and relevant research were discussed initially. Causes for the findings were offered and discussed.