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      Revealing Nuanced Relationships Among Cognitive Test Anxiety, Motivation, and Self-Regulation Through Curvilinear Analyses

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          Student motivational profiles and self-regulated learning strategies are significant influences on overall academic success in university settings. Test anxiety has been repeatedly linked to maladaptive learning strategies and ineffective motivational frameworks. However, the results in the field have been inconsistent with respect to the precise interactions among these variables. This study employed anonymous responses from a group of volunteer students in a mid-sized Midwestern United States university, serving a primarily Caucasian and female population with an average age of 20 years. Adopting a curvilinear analytic design, this study attempted to examine the relationships among these common domains of inquiry into student thriving. The results of this study provide insights examining under which conditions cognitive test anxiety is most likely to be heightened or diminished. The results demonstrated that levels of test anxiety were greatest when (a) learners adopted primarily extrinsic or primarily intrinsic goal orientations, (b) academic tasks where the outcome was uncertain, (c) learners adopted passive learning strategies, and (d) learning strategies were more personally involved (as opposed to externalized study behaviors). Our results add to the field by identifying curvilinear models provide greater utility in identifying the relationships among these critical emotional and cognitive factors in academic settings. Furthermore, we advocate for employing identification and intervention strategies that recognize individually specific profiles of interactions among test anxiety, motivation, and self-regulation to promote more optimal success in supporting learners in university settings.

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          Most cited references 55

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          Anxiety and Performance: The Processing Efficiency Theory

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            Becoming a Self-Regulated Learner: An Overview

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              Cultivating competence, self-efficacy, and intrinsic interest through proximal self-motivation.


                Author and article information

                Front Psychol
                Front Psychol
                Front. Psychol.
                Frontiers in Psychology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                15 June 2020
                : 11
                Department of Educational Psychology, Ball State University , Muncie, IN, United States
                Author notes

                Edited by: Meryem Yilmaz Soylu, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, United States

                Reviewed by: Antonio Granero-Gallegos, University of Almería, Spain; Antonio Baena Extremera, University of Granada, Spain

                *Correspondence: Jerrell C. Cassady, jccassady@ 123456bsu.edu

                This article was submitted to Educational Psychology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology

                Copyright © 2020 Cassady and Finch.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 72, Pages: 13, Words: 0
                Original Research


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