Lewis R. Waid

Date of Award

Fall 8-1977

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Kenneth A. Blick

Second Advisor

Dr. William E. Walker

Third Advisor

Dr. Matt E. Jaremko


Sixty male and female college students of average scholastic aptitude, 30 with high A-trait and 30 with low A-trait, were tested for reading comprehension following either massed (MP) or distributed practice (DP) with narrative reading material. Twice during the experiment the students' A-state was assessed through Spielberger's STAI A-state scale. The findings demonstrated; (a) high A-trait students responded to the experimental situation with greater elevations in A-state; (b) performance on the reading comprehension task was related to A-trait level with low A-trait students performing significantly better; (c) the A-state level of the students immediately prior to the reading comprehension test was a good predictor of performance with students of low A-state performing significantly better than high A-state students. The hypothesis that type of practice would have a differential effect on performance for students who differ in anxiety level was not confirmed, however; DP was found to significantly reduce the A-state level of high A-trait students. These findings were compared with the results of previous research on Spielberger's state-trait theory of anxiety and ideas for future research are discussed.

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