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Educational Psychology Reader

The Art and Science of How People Learn - Revised Edition

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Edited By Greg S. Goodman

The revised edition of Educational Psychology Reader: The Art and Science of How People Learn presents an exciting amalgam of educational psychology’s research-based reflections framed in twenty-first century critical educational psychology. As a discipline, educational psychology is reinventing itself from its early and almost exclusive identification with psychometrics and taxonomy-styled classifications to a dynamic and multicultural collage of conversations concerning language acquisition, socially mediated learning, diverse learning modalities, motivation, the affective domain, brain-based learning, the role of ecology in increasing achievement, and many other complementary dimensions of how people learn. Many polymaths of the discipline are included in this volume, providing daunting evidence of the range and intellectual rigor of educational psychology at this historical juncture. Featuring a collection of renowned international authors, this text will appeal to scholars across the globe. The Educational Psychology Reader is an ideal choice as either the primary or supplemental text for both undergraduate and graduate level educational psychology courses.
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45. Test Anxiety: Contemporary Theories and Implications for Learning

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CHAPTER FORTY-FIVE

Test Anxiety

Contemporary Theories and Implications for Learning

Jerrell C. Cassady



Few constructs in psychology and education have broader accessibility to students than test anxiety. We all encounter a measured response to evaluative situations that can be characterized as tense, uneasy, disquieted, nervous, fearful, and simply anxious. As a researcher with interest in this field, I frequently ask my undergraduate students if they experience test anxiety. In an average semester, I will receive a response somewhere in the range of 70% self-diagnosed test-anxious learners. Naturally, they are correct—they do have an anxious reaction to tests. These feelings of apprehension and concern over test anxiety are appropriate. Research on test anxiety has demonstrated negative correlations with IQ in math, statistics, reading, foreign language, science, and psychology courses; study skills and abilities; coping procedures in learning events; admittance into advanced programs; problem-solving skills; and basic memory processes (see Hembree, 1988, for meta-analysis).

However, most of these students do not have a conception of the pervasive and detrimental role test anxiety plays in the educational and academic experiences of a sizable portion of the population. More systematic examinations of the prevalence of test anxiety place estimates closer to the 25%–40% of the population, with higher rates of prevalence for racial minorities and females (Carter, Williams, & Silverman; 2008; Ergene, 2003; McDonald, 2001; Putwain, 2007). However, these estimations are difficult to validate given the absence...

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