Role of self-control strength in the relation between anxiety and cognitive performance

Bertrams, Alex ; Englert, Chris ; Dickhäuser, Oliver ; Baumeister, Roy F.

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Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2013
The title of a journal, publication series: Emotion
Volume: 13
Issue number: 4
Page range: 668-680
Place of publication: Washington, DC
Publishing house: American Psychological Assoc.
ISSN: 1528-3542 , 1931-1516
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Social Sciences > Pädagogische Psychologie (Dickhäuser 2008-)
Subject: 150 Psychology
Abstract: In the present work, we examine the role of self-control resources within the relationship between anxiety and cognitive test performance. We argue that self-control is required for keeping attention away from anxiety-related worries, which would otherwise distract a person from performing on the test. In Study 1 (N = 67) and Study 2 (N = 96), we found that state anxiety was negatively related to performance of verbal learning and mental arithmetic if participants' self-control resources were depleted, but it was unrelated if participants' self-control was intact. In Study 3 (N = 99), the worry component of trait test anxiety was more strongly related to perceived distraction by worries while performing an arithmetic task for participants with depleted self-control resources than for nondepleted participants. Furthermore, distraction by worries showed to be responsible for suboptimal performance. The findings may help to clarify the anxiety-performance relationship and offer a novel approach for counteracting performance decrements associated with test anxiety.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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