Is it the cognitive or the behavioral component which makes cognitive-behavior modification effective in test anxiety?

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Seven male and 17 female university students were treated for test anxiety to study desensitization and cognitive components of D. Meichenbaum's cognitive-behavior modification treatment for test anxiety (see record 1973-20259-001) varied in a 2 × 2 factorial design. The resultant conditions were (a) desensitization only, (b) cognitive only, (c) the combination cognitive plus desensitization, and (d) neither cognitive nor desensitization (control). Each S was randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups. Outcome measures included the Liebert-Morris Test Anxiety Scale, self-ratings of emotionality and worry, and a digit symbol performance task. Combined cognitive treatment and desensitization were less effective than the cognitive-only treatments. Results are consistent with traditional theories of test anxiety and antithetical to a recent behavioral reformulation of test anxiety theory. (30 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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