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Teichman (1987) designed and executed an experiment in which she tested the hypothesis that specific ego threats under conditions of high trait anxiety will produce isolation. Her subjects were groups of students who had either already been accepted into or were competing for entrance to graduate school. On the basis of the results she concluded that anxiety (resulting from a specific ego threat) leads to negative affiliation. A longitudinal participant observational study of university students which had as one of its major foci the affiliative behavior of students immediately prior to writing examinations (specific ego threat) found results opposite to those of Teichman (Albas & Albas, 1984). It is suggested that these polar findings can be reconciled by Rofe and Lewin's (1988) more general explanation that anxiety leads to behavior which strives to minimize stress which, in turn, may be either affiliation or isolation depending upon other intervening variables.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 1990

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