Parks-Stamm, E. J., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2010). Implementation intentions and test anxiety: Shielding academic performance from distraction. Learning and Individual Differences, 20, 30-33.
College students whose test anxiety was measured completed a working memory-intensive math exam with televised distractions. Students were provided with implementation intentions (if–then plans; Gollwitzer, 1999) designed to either help them ignore the distractions (i.e., temptation-inhibiting plans) or focus more intently on the math exam (i.e., task-facilitating plans). Regression analyses showed that as test anxiety increased, the effectiveness of temptation-inhibiting implementation intentions increased, whereas taskfacilitating implementation intentions increasingly harmed performance as test anxiety increased. In addition, the consequences of these plans differed significantly for those high in test anxiety. Implications for effective self-regulation by test-anxious students are discussed.