INTERRELATIONS OF STRESS AND ANXIETY IN DETERMINING PROBLEM SOLVING PERFORMANCE
YALE UNIV NEW HAVEN CT DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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Problem-solving performance under three conditions of stress, with anxiety as an individual difference variable, was investigated. The first purpose of the study was empirical the literature relating these variables to problem solving is inconclusive. The second purpose involved an assessment of the effects of discrimination between stresses on the basis of the extent to which they have ego-threatening properties. The evidence suggested, although not conclusively, that the problem solving differences related to stress and to Test Anxiety Questionnaire were not a function of differences in anxiety arousal, at least as measured by the Adjective Check List Measure. The results were, therefore, interpreted by assuming that both TAQ and aptitude are related to differences in the level of self-confidence, and that the latter mediated the facilitative stress effects that were observed. The discussion also emphasized, first, the importance of having measures of aroused anxiety when interpreting stress and predispositional-anxiety effects and, second, the possible insensitivity of problem solving to some debilitating anxiety effects.