Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing in the treatment of test anxiety: A study of the effects of eye movement and expectancy on the procedure's results

Description

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, abbreviated EMDR, is a recently discovered technique acclaimed as a major breakthrough for the reduction of anxiety. Numerous anecdotal studies have been presented showing the efficacy of EMDR. There are currently no published studies investigating use of EMDR specifically for test anxiety.

The purpose of this study was to use the EMDR technique to study its efficacy for test anxiety. This study also examined whether or not high and low expectancy conditions significantly affected scores on post-session anxiety ratings. In addition, the procedure was used with and without eye movement to see whether or not eye movement was a critical factor in eliciting positive change in anxiety ratings.

A single session of approximately one hour was conducted individually with 41 subjects, college students reporting test anxiety. The subjects were randomly assigned to one of four conditions reflecting varying combinations of eye movement and expectancy conditions. A 2 x 2 analysis of variance was conducted for expectancy and eye movement factors on two dependent measures. These measures were Subjective Units of Disturbance Scale (SUDs) and the Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI).

Results of the study show a significantly greater amount of reduction in the SUDs using the eye movement supporting the hypothesis that eye movement is critical to the efficacy of EMDR. No other statistically significant main effects or interactions were found with measuring the SUDs or TAI. However, it should be noted that all groups showed substantial reductions in post-treatment TAI scores. The expectancy conditions presented to subjects also had no measureably significant effects. There was anecdotal support of the power of the eye movement but no significant behavioral changes other than the reduction in SUDs.

It was concluded that EMDR is worthy of further study with larger samples of the test anxious population. Further study may want to use EMDR in conjunction with other techniques and for more than one session.

Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Language

English

Author(s)

Phillip W. Gosselin

Original Work Citation

Gosselin, P. W. (1994). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing in the treatment of test anxiety: A study of the effects of eye movement and expectancy on the procedure's results. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B. Sciences and Engineering, 55(3), 1174

Collection

Citation

“Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing in the treatment of test anxiety: A study of the effects of eye movement and expectancy on the procedure's results,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed April 7, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/18281.

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