Master's Theses

Date of Award

Spring 1959

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Committee Chair

Abstract

The purpose of the following experiment is to clarify some of the contradictory results found in previous studies on the effect of induced muscular tension on performance. Results of previous studies (16, 17, 18) indicate that Ss who score high on the MAS out-perform Ss who score low on the MAS on a simple learning task, but on a complex learning task the Ss who scored low on the MAS out-performed those who scored high on the MAS. However, the results of these studies have not been related to the effect of muscular tension on performance. For example, contradictory findings such as those by Shore (15) and Meyer and Noble (11) may be reconciled if the effect of task difficulty is considered; Shore’s task of perceptual efficiency may be considered as a simple task while Meyer’s and Noble’s task of learning a verbal maze may be considered as a complex learning task. The present study not only considers the effect that different drive levels may have on performance under tension, but also the effect that task difficulty may have. To summarize, the present study examines the combined effects of three variables which have previously been investigated separately, but which 10 have never before been studied together. The three variables are muscular tension, anxiety, and task difficulty.

Rights

Copyright 1959 Ralph West

Comments

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