SEX AND ANXIETY DIFFERENCES IN EYELID CONDITIONING.
Technical rept. on Motivation and Performance in Conditioning and Learning,
TEXAS UNIV AUSTIN DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
Pagination or Media Count:
Published and unpublished data bearing on the relationship between eyelid conditioning performance and two subject variables, Ss sex and their scores on the Manifest Anxiety Scale, were examined. Although the differences between groups were not always significant, particularly in the case of sex, the evidence from studies employing standard conditioning procedures revealed that in 23 out of 27 independent comparisons the performance of high anxiety Ss was superior to that of low anxiety Ss and that in 18 out of 19 comparisons, the performance of females was superior to that of males. The probability of obtaining this number of differences in one direction by chance was in each case less than .01. In contrast, inspection of the data from studies using a procedure in which the conditioning was masked by being presented within the context of a probability learning task indicated that none of the differences between groups was significant for either subject variable and that the direction of difference between groups was split approximately equally between high and low anxiety Ss and between males and females. The findings were discussed in terms of the writers theory that the performance differences between high and low anxious Ss and between male and female Ss reflect differences in their drive levels, which, in turn, are assumed to be the result of differences in the level of emotional reactivity of the Ss to the experimental situation and procedures. Author