Symptom and dynamic cues in the implosive treatment of test anxiety

Document Type


Date of Original Version



Divided 61 test-anxious college males, matched for IQ and level of test anxiety, into 5 treatment groups: (a) a symptom group given implosive therapy based on cues related symptomatically to test anxiety, (b) a dynamic group imploded with cues based on the assumed dynamics of test anxiety, (c) a general anxiety group imploded with a set of general anxiety cues assumed minimally related to test anxiety, (d) a placebo group which imagined scenes based on neutral cues, and (e) a no-treatment group. Following 3 sessions of treatment presented via tape recorders, Groups a and b improved significantly on Wonderlic intelligence scores, GPA, and reported level of anxiety on final exams, but not on the Alpert-Haber Test Anxiety Scale. Group c reported significant decreases in general anxiety as measured by Wolpe's Fear Inventory. Results support a general learning theory consonant with implosive therapy that conceives of test anxiety as being a combination of anxiety attached to both symptom and dynamic cues, and indicate that implosive therapy can be a rapid means of reducing test anxiety. (20 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved). © 1971 American Psychological Association.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Abnormal Psychology