Title

The influence of brief episodes of aerobic exercise activity, soothing music-nature scenes condition, and suggestion on coping with test taking anxiety

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1996

Publisher

International Stress Management Association

Abstract

This study examines the influence of aerobic exercise activity, soothing musicnature scenes condition, and suggestion on coping with test-taking anxiety. Sixty test anxious subjects were randomly assigned to four treatment groups consisting of 15-min episodes of exercise or soothing music-nature scenes condition with or without verbal suggestion that the treatment task in which they were engaged would be helpful to them. A videotaped “intelligence test” used to stimulate test-taking anxiety was given to the subjects after the soothing music-nature scenes condition or exercise tasks. The Multiple Affect Adjective Checklist (MAACL) was used to appraise anxiety during the laboratory procedures. Results indicate that exercise, soothing music-nature scenes condition, and suggestion play a role in reducing anxiety. While relaxation activity proved to be superior to exercise in reducing anxiety immediately following the “treatment” episode, these differences disappear following exposure to a stressful “IQ test” and exercise (as well as suggestion) had a better stress inoculation effect than soothing music-nature scenes condition or no suggestion.