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The Taylor-Spence Drive theory on a competitive versus noncompetitive paired-associate learning task Wood, Earle William Harold

Abstract

The Taylor-Spence Drive (D) theory was investigated by comparing performance of high anxiety (HA), medium anxiety (MA) and low anxiety (LA) Ss, as measured by the Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale, on the test list of both a response-equivalence paradigm (A-B, A-C) and a control paradigm (D-B, A-C). The Ss were 60 grade six boys. The paired-associate learning tasks were designed to detect the debilitating effects of associative-stage competition in the experimental group for HA, MA and LA Ss respectively. A two (experimental conditions) by three (anxiety levels) by six (repeated trials) analysis of variance was performed on the data. There is a significant difference in performance between experimental and control groups on the test list (A-C), p < .0005. There are several trends favourable to the Taylor-Spence D theory but chance factors could have been involved since none of the hypotheses generated from the theory reached the .05 significance level. The first favourable trend is that HA and MA Ss' performance tends to be superior to LA Ss' in the control group on the test list (A-C). Also, HA Ss' performance is inferior to LA Ss' in the experimental group on the test list (A-C) giving support to the interaction hypothesis.

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