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Abstract

The present paper reports an experiment in which subjects received fictitious intelligence test feedback that was either negatively or positively discrepant with their self-evaluation They were then given an opportunity to choose among several articles containing information that either derogated intelligence tests (test-disparaging information) or argued for their validity (test-supporting information) The main finding of this study consists of an interaction between the personality factor anxiety and the feedback variable High-anxiety subjects prefer test-disparaging information significantly more in the negative feedback condition than in the positive feedback condition, whereas low-anxiety subjects show no difference in preference for test-related information as a function of the feedback condition These results are in line with past theoretical reasoning and experimental findings showing that high-anxiety subjects feel more threatened by negative self-relevant feedback than do low-anxiety subjects