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Stressed for Success: An Anxiety Reappraisal Video Intervention for Undergraduates

dc.contributor.advisor Hard, Bridgette
dc.contributor.advisor Parikh, Natasha Herrmann, Katherine 2019-04-18T15:17:04Z 2019-04-18T15:17:04Z 2019-04-16
dc.description.abstract Students everywhere can feel anxious about exams and are commonly met with the advice to “calm down.” However, researchers have found that it is the worries, not the bodily feelings associated with anxiety, that impair student performance, and thus advice to calm down does not target the harmful part of anxiety. An alternative approach is to target worry by helping students reappraise their anxiety as neutral or beneficial, instead of harmful. Reappraisal messages, delivered in the form of emails or paragraphs, have shown promising results for improving student performance. We tested whether delivering a reappraisal intervention in the form of animated video would improve student performance on a real college exam, compared to a control video describing basic study tips. An online feasibility study (Study 1) confirmed that the reappraisal message was effective at shifting participants’ beliefs about anxiety. Next, we tested whether the reappraisal message could improve student experience and performance in an introductory economics course (Study 2). Additionally, we examined for whom the intervention might work best by measuring baseline anxiety and beliefs about stress. Although the reappraisal message successfully shifted students’ beliefs about anxiety, it demonstrated no effect on performance compared to the control. Baseline measures of anxiety were predictive of performance and how students interacted with the reappraisal message.
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.subject anxiety
dc.subject intervention
dc.subject reappraisal
dc.subject classroom intervention
dc.subject animated video
dc.title Stressed for Success: An Anxiety Reappraisal Video Intervention for Undergraduates
dc.type Honors thesis
dc.department Psychology and Neuroscience
duke.embargo.months 0

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