Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

The Effects of Meditation and Testing Anxiety on Spatial Ability Tasks

Publication Date



Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Psychological Science, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Pete Giordano

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Testing anxiety is a well-known ailment in students which often has an impact on overall academic attitudes and performance. Mindfulness, a practice which has grown in societal popularity in the past few decades, has been found to reduce these symptoms of anxiety, including the previously mentioned testing anxiety. The purpose of the current study is to investigate the correlation between mindfulness practices, testing anxiety, and test scores in undergraduates. Participants were recruited through SONA from Introductory Psychology courses at a mid-sized southern university. They were first asked to participate in either a ten minute meditation or mind-wandering video, complete a ten-question spatial abilities test, a state trait anxiety questionnaire, and a demographics questionnaire. Participants were split into four groups based on the randomized conditions they were assigned to. Groups A and B received the meditation exercise while C and D received the mind-wandering exercise. For the anxiety induction condition, testing anxiety was induced by limiting the amount of time available for the spatial abilities task in groups A and C. Groups B and D had unlimited time in taking the spatial abilities test. In considering the previous literature, it was hypothesized that participants who were low in test anxiety and experienced a mindfulness exercise would score the highest on a spatial ability test and the participants who were high in test anxiety and experienced a mind wandering activity would score the lowest on a spatial ability test.

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