This study examined the effects of (a) trait test anxiety versus state anxiety and (b) working memory load on children's mental arithmetic task performance. Participants (. N=. 128; 11-year-olds) completed a mental arithmetic task at varying levels of working memory load under high and low situational stress conditions. Measures of task accuracy and accuracy/response time served as indicators of performance effectiveness and processing efficiency. The findings showed that trait test anxiety has a direct and detrimental effect on working memory. The effect was not mediated by state test anxiety. We also demonstrated that the adverse effects of trait test anxiety on efficiency are independent of working memory load. However, anxiety-related deficits in effectiveness occur at higher levels of working memory load. Findings are interpreted as being largely consistent with the attentional control theory. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
CitationNg, E., & Lee, K. (2015). Effects of trait test anxiety and state anxiety on children's working memory task performance. Learning and Individual Differences, 40, 141-148. doi: 10.1016/j.lindif.2015.04.007
- Attentional control theory
- Processing efficiency theory
- Dual-task performance
- Academic achievement