Test Anxiety, Self-Awareness, and Cognitive Interference: A Process Analysis


  • We thank Carotin Showers for helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.

regarding (his article should he directed to either Kaoru Kurosawa, Department of Psychology, Chiba University. Yayoi-Cho. Chiba-shi. 260 Japan, or Judith M. Harackiewicz. Department of Psychology. 1202 W. Johnson Street University of Wisconsin. Madison, WI 53706.


ABSTRACT Participants performed a cognitive task under evaluative, self-awareness, and neutral conditions, Task performance was determined jointly by trait test anxiety and situational factors. Test anxiety led to poorer performance in both evaluative and self-awareness situations, relative to the neutral situation. We examined the cognitive activity variables that might mediate the effects of test anxiety and situational variables on performance, and identified a significant cognitive mediator of the main effect of test anxiety, but not for the Test Anxiety x Situation interaction effect. Therefore, the current experiment offered some support for Sarason's (1980) cognitive interference theory, as well as integrating test anxiety and self-awareness research.