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The Differential Effect of Applicants’ Self-Versus Other-Referenced Anxiety on Test Performance


  • Proost, Karin

    () (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB), Belgium)

  • Derous, Eva
  • Schreurs, Bert
  • Hagtvet, Knut Arne
  • De Witte, Karel


This study investigated to what extent the cognitive worries of anxious persons impair test performance in both an educational and a personnel selection context. A distinction was made between two types of cognitive anxiety, namely Self-Referenced Anxiety, where oneself is held as the critical evaluator of one’s performance, and Other-Referenced Anxiety, where a significant other is held as the critical evaluator of one’s performance. A differential relationship of both types of worries with test performance was suggested. In both studies (n = 176 undergraduates and n = 1459 applicants), a negative relationship with test performance was found for Other-Referenced Anxiety and no relationship was found for Self-Referenced Anxiety. In an attempt to clarify these differential relations with test performance, the mediating effects of identified and external behavioral regulation, respectively on the relationships between SRA and test performance and ORA and test performance were put forward but could not be confirmed. The scientific and practical relevance of these findings were discussed.

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  • Proost, Karin & Derous, Eva & Schreurs, Bert & Hagtvet, Knut Arne & De Witte, Karel, 2011. "The Differential Effect of Applicants’ Self-Versus Other-Referenced Anxiety on Test Performance," Working Papers 2011/07, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:hub:wpecon:201107

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