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The three-systems model and self efficacy theory : piano performance anxiety Craske, Michelle Genevieve


This study examined contrasting predicitions from Self Efficacy theory and the Three-Systems model of fear and anxiety, in the context of musical performance anxiety. Further experimental evidence was sought for Hodgson and Rachmans' (1974) hypotheses derived from the three-systems model, and for Bandura's predicted relationships between the construct of self efficacy and behavioural, physiological and verbal response systems. Pianists, who rated themselves as either 'relatively anxious' or 'relatively nonanxious' solo performers, were asked to play a musical piece under two conditions. First, the pianists played alone under non-evaluative conditions. Second, they played before an audience and videocamera under evaluative conditions. Measures were taken of each response system during both performance conditions; behavioural measures included performance quality and a timed checklist of observable signs of anxiety; self report measures included the State Anxiety scale, SUD scales, Self Statement scales and several self efficacy scales; and autonomic measures, recorded continuously via telemtry, included heart rate, respiration and skin conductance. The audience condition was found to elicit more intense emotional responses in relatively anxious pianists; this condition elicited less intense emotional responses in relatively nonanxious pianists. These group effects were enhanced when extreme scorers were analysed. In the audience condition, the relatively anxious group exhibited increased levels of anxiety in each of the response systems (i.e. synchrony), while desynchrony was observed in the relatively nonanxious group. Correlations among the dependent measures were generally weak, but concordance was most often observed when intense emotional responses were elicited. The results obtained lent support to the three-systems model. In contrast to Bandura's predictions, self efficacy did not correlate with levels of anxiety in each response system. Issues raised by the study included the importance of multiple-system measurement, treatment implications, contrasts between 'analogue' and 'clinical' populations, and the complexity of the phenomenon of anxiety.

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