Monday, March 15, 2010

This Post is Definitely an "A"

Environmental cues might be affecting your performance subconsciously:
Seeing the letter A before an exam can improve a student's exam result while exposure to the letter F may make a student more likely to fail. The finding is published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology in March 2010.

The study, carried out by Dr Keith Ciani and Dr Ken Sheldon at the University of Missouri, USA, investigated whether exposing students to the letters A or F before a test affected how they performed. Dr Ciani said: "The letters A and F have significant meaning for students, A represents success and F, failure. We hypothesised that if students are exposed to these letters prior to an academic test it could affect their performance through non-conscious motivation."

A total of 131 students took part in three separate experiments. In the first, 23 undergraduates were asked to complete a number of analogies in a classroom setting. All of the tests were the same, however half of the tests were labelled 'Test Bank ID: A', and the other half 'Test Bank ID: F'. Before starting the test the participants were asked to write their Test Bank ID letter in the top right hand corner of each sheet.

Each participant's analogy tests were scored and compared between the groups. A significant difference between the two groups was found, with the A group performing significantly better than the F group; A scoring on average 11.08 correct out of 12, and F only 9.42 correct on average.

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