For this project, my team and I wanted to focus on how to encourage energy savings. Our user group was young people who are living together in a home. The users were trying to conserve energy, save money, and be eco-friendly. They were also trying to accomplish these tasks while cooperating with other household members. A system was needed to address the numerous challenges users faced in trying to accomplish these goals.
Test performance plays a major role in a student’s academic success and future opportunities. The framing and description of an exam can affect student performance. Understanding these effects could improve test taking situations in the future.
A previous study showed that a strong positive correlation exists between test anxiety and worry, and a strong negative correlation exists between worry and performance (Hong, 2002).
Subjects will achieve higher scores when we disclose higher test averages and will achieve lower test scores when we disclose lower test averages.
The test administered without a prime will yield average scores higher than the tests with a negative prime and lower than the tests with a positive prime.
Tests were administered to participants in a survey format using an online survey platform called Qualtrics.
Participants were undergraduate students at Georgia Tech.
n=38 participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: one group that was told before taking the test that it had a high average score, one group that was told the test had a low average score, and a control group that did not receive a prime.
Participants then answered 15 multiple choice SAT practice questions that tested reading, writing, and analytical mathematics skills.
We conducted a one-way between-subjects ANOVA; the main effect of our testing condition was not statistically significant, F(2, 35) = .75, p = .481
The low significance of these results may be attributed to the low statistical power of our tests; that is, priming effects are often subtle.
However, the group primed with a high score scored highest, while the group primed with a low score scored lowest; while these observations are not statistically significant, they are in line with the results predicted by our hypotheses.
Statement of Findings
Our team observed that there was no significant relationship between perceived difficulty of examinations and one’s performance based upon that perceived difficulty.
However, the means did skew in the directions predicted.
The setting in which we held our assessment was not a formalized classroom setting which may have taken away a level of tension from taking the exam.
There was no value offered to the exam itself to give it the same emotional or situational weight that academic examinations possess.
In the future, we would benefit from working in a quieter and more realistic exam space under the pretense that the exam would impact some aspect of the participant’s academic career.
We would also benefit from strengthening the potency of the prime that is shown to participants: for example, showing the average test score in a graphic format, or having it announced by a researcher to the participants instead of being presented to participants only as text.
Hong, E. (2002). Test anxiety, perceived test difficulty, and test performance: temporal patterns of their effects. Learning and Individual Differences, 11(4), 431-447.