Accepting test-anxiety-related thoughts increases academic performance among undergraduate students
Format: Journal Article
Publication Date: Nov 30, 2011
Pages: 417 - 432
Sources ID: 109611
Collection: Mindfulness Studies and Undergraduates
Visibility: Public (group default)
Given that unwanted thoughts are enhanced when suppressed, we tested among college freshmen who were about to take an academic exam if an acceptance strategy consisting of not suppressing intrusive thoughts will improve test performance. This strategy proved superior to students’ own default strategies as much as a modified, alternative strategy, avoiding the antecedents of intrusive thoughts. Moreover, the combination of the two strategies counteracted a stronger, negative effect of test anxiety on test performance as compared with each strategy used alone. The results suggest that not only intrusive thoughts per se but also the suppression of these thoughts can disrupt test performance, and hint that approaching such thoughts with acceptance may not interfere with simultaneously working toward avoiding the antecedents of these thoughts.