Do highly test anxious pupils respond differentially to fear appeals made prior to a test?

Dave Putwain, Natalie Best

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Prior research has suggested that fear appeals used in the primary classroom prior to a test, messages emphasising the importance of the test and the consequences of failure, may have negative pupil outcomes by increasing anxiety and reducing test performance. This study aimed to examine whether this effect was stronger in those students who were highly test anxious to begin with. The study lasted for two weeks, where students were given fear appeals concerning an end-of-week class test for one week and no fear appeals in the other week in a counterbalanced design. Students reported higher state anxiety following their class test at the end of the week in which fear appeals were made by the classroom teacher and also performed worse in the class test. Although students with high trait test anxiety to begin with reported fear appeals to be more frequent and threatening, they did not report higher state anxiety and perform worse than their low test anxious classmates. These findings add weight to the view that fear appeals are not an effective classroom practice when used prior to tests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalResearch in Education
Volume88
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fingerprint

appeal
pupil
anxiety
classroom
student
teacher
performance

Cite this

@article{6aeb7be900dd4a3d9a3fb218fea1b620,
title = "Do highly test anxious pupils respond differentially to fear appeals made prior to a test?",
abstract = "Prior research has suggested that fear appeals used in the primary classroom prior to a test, messages emphasising the importance of the test and the consequences of failure, may have negative pupil outcomes by increasing anxiety and reducing test performance. This study aimed to examine whether this effect was stronger in those students who were highly test anxious to begin with. The study lasted for two weeks, where students were given fear appeals concerning an end-of-week class test for one week and no fear appeals in the other week in a counterbalanced design. Students reported higher state anxiety following their class test at the end of the week in which fear appeals were made by the classroom teacher and also performed worse in the class test. Although students with high trait test anxiety to begin with reported fear appeals to be more frequent and threatening, they did not report higher state anxiety and perform worse than their low test anxious classmates. These findings add weight to the view that fear appeals are not an effective classroom practice when used prior to tests.",
author = "Dave Putwain and Natalie Best",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.7227/RIE.88.1.1",
language = "English",
volume = "88",
pages = "1--10",
journal = "Research in Education",
issn = "0034-5237",
publisher = "Manchester University Press",
number = "2",

}

Do highly test anxious pupils respond differentially to fear appeals made prior to a test? / Putwain, Dave; Best, Natalie.

In: Research in Education, Vol. 88, No. 2, 2013, p. 1-10.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Do highly test anxious pupils respond differentially to fear appeals made prior to a test?

AU - Putwain, Dave

AU - Best, Natalie

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - Prior research has suggested that fear appeals used in the primary classroom prior to a test, messages emphasising the importance of the test and the consequences of failure, may have negative pupil outcomes by increasing anxiety and reducing test performance. This study aimed to examine whether this effect was stronger in those students who were highly test anxious to begin with. The study lasted for two weeks, where students were given fear appeals concerning an end-of-week class test for one week and no fear appeals in the other week in a counterbalanced design. Students reported higher state anxiety following their class test at the end of the week in which fear appeals were made by the classroom teacher and also performed worse in the class test. Although students with high trait test anxiety to begin with reported fear appeals to be more frequent and threatening, they did not report higher state anxiety and perform worse than their low test anxious classmates. These findings add weight to the view that fear appeals are not an effective classroom practice when used prior to tests.

AB - Prior research has suggested that fear appeals used in the primary classroom prior to a test, messages emphasising the importance of the test and the consequences of failure, may have negative pupil outcomes by increasing anxiety and reducing test performance. This study aimed to examine whether this effect was stronger in those students who were highly test anxious to begin with. The study lasted for two weeks, where students were given fear appeals concerning an end-of-week class test for one week and no fear appeals in the other week in a counterbalanced design. Students reported higher state anxiety following their class test at the end of the week in which fear appeals were made by the classroom teacher and also performed worse in the class test. Although students with high trait test anxiety to begin with reported fear appeals to be more frequent and threatening, they did not report higher state anxiety and perform worse than their low test anxious classmates. These findings add weight to the view that fear appeals are not an effective classroom practice when used prior to tests.

U2 - 10.7227/RIE.88.1.1

DO - 10.7227/RIE.88.1.1

M3 - Article

VL - 88

SP - 1

EP - 10

JO - Research in Education

JF - Research in Education

SN - 0034-5237

IS - 2

ER -