Cognitive Task Performance

The present study explores the interaction between anxiety-inducing stimuli and cognitive task performance. (#) college-aged, participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups, one with a visual timer, an auditory timer, both, or a control group with no timer. Participants were instructed to complete 30 anagrams in five minutes. It was predicted that the auditory and visual timers would significantly impair cognitive performance and the participants in the experimental groups would complete fewer anagrams correctly than the control group. The scores from each group were then compared with one another. (Results)
Keywords: working memory, test anxiety, cognitive performance

The Effect of Anxiety on Cognitive Performance
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This type of anxiety typically appears in early childhood and increases as the student progresses up grade levels. According to the article by Maloney et al it is estimated that 25% of students in primary and secondary school experience test anxiety. The fear of failure that originates from test anxiety may prevent the test taker from performing well on their exam or assessment. Individuals that experience low amounts of anxiety before and during a test tend to outperform individuals that experience high amounts of anxiety (Maloney et …show more content…
Visual-spatial working memory is the memory process that focuses on spatial attention and spatial processes (what individuals see) while auditory working memory focuses on processing what is heard (Vytel, Cornwell, Letkiewics, Arkin, & Grillon, 2013). According to study performed by Vytel et al., participants that were exposed to an anxiety-inducing scenario (risk of electric shock), showed a significant decrease in task performance in a series of spatial and verbal tasks. There were two shock levels, low pain to moderate pain, each with different amount of amps being produced (Vytel et al.) The threat of shock used in this study elicited anxiety, impaired auditory working memory processes in moderate anxiety-inducing groups, and impaired spatial working memory in low and moderate levels of anxiety-inducing groups.
In the present study, anxiety is induced with a visual timer, auditory timer, and both rather than electric shock in order to determine their effect on task performance involving anagram completion. According to the hypothesis, if participants are exposed to a visual timer, auditory timer, or both then they will complete fewer anagrams than participants with no

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