Project Title

Is Test Anxiety Associated with Emotion Regulation Deficits?

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Ebony Glover

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Is Test Anxiety Associated with Emotion Regulation Deficits?

Jesse Edmond

Test anxiety is a physiological and behavioral response to one’s own concerns and fears about taking an exam. Previous research has linked high levels of test anxiety to increased arousal, heart rate, and blood pressure. However, neural mechanisms regulating these activities are poorly understood. Our lab uses the fear-potentiated startle (FPS) paradigm to quantify acoustic startle responses in the presence of conditioned stimuli (CS) previously paired with aversive stimuli (US). This model is well established as a noninvasive tool to measure amygdala activity and characterize biological correlates of emotion regulation. The current study examines the relationship between fear extinction, a decline in conditioned fear expression following repeated presentations of the CS alone, and test anxiety. An inability to inhibit startle responding during extinction is a sign of emotional dysregulation. Participants recruited from Kennesaw State University completed the Westside Test Anxiety Scale before undergoing FPS. It is hypothesized that those who have higher test anxiety will show deficits in fear extinction. By linking test anxiety with emotion dysregulation, this project may give us a better understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying test anxiety.

Project Type

Poster

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Is Test Anxiety Associated with Emotion Regulation Deficits?

Is Test Anxiety Associated with Emotion Regulation Deficits?

Jesse Edmond

Test anxiety is a physiological and behavioral response to one’s own concerns and fears about taking an exam. Previous research has linked high levels of test anxiety to increased arousal, heart rate, and blood pressure. However, neural mechanisms regulating these activities are poorly understood. Our lab uses the fear-potentiated startle (FPS) paradigm to quantify acoustic startle responses in the presence of conditioned stimuli (CS) previously paired with aversive stimuli (US). This model is well established as a noninvasive tool to measure amygdala activity and characterize biological correlates of emotion regulation. The current study examines the relationship between fear extinction, a decline in conditioned fear expression following repeated presentations of the CS alone, and test anxiety. An inability to inhibit startle responding during extinction is a sign of emotional dysregulation. Participants recruited from Kennesaw State University completed the Westside Test Anxiety Scale before undergoing FPS. It is hypothesized that those who have higher test anxiety will show deficits in fear extinction. By linking test anxiety with emotion dysregulation, this project may give us a better understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying test anxiety.