How to quickly and easily improve performance on tests

Priming does it again… Before the test, write about a successful personal experience:

This research sought to develop an intervention (targeting positive emotions and thoughts) as a mechanism for reducing test anxiety and raising confidence and performance in a sample of college students. Participants were randomly assigned to a positive thought task or a control task. Those in the positive-thought condition, who were assigned to write about successful personal experiences, derived several benefits, when compared with control participants who wrote about their morning routines. Specifically, they experienced more positive affect and less negative affect, exhibited a more optimistic outlook, and reported less test anxiety. They were more likely to appraise the quiz confidently, perceiving it as a challenge rather than a threat. Perhaps most importantly, they exhibited superior performance on the quiz.

Source: “The Power of Positive Recollections: Reducing Test Anxiety and Enhancing College Student Efficacy and Performance” from the Journal of Applied Social Psychology

Priming is huge. Study after study demonstrate its value. And what would that value be? Giving us a better understanding of just how important context is to the human mind, and our lives in general.


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