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Cognitive interference in computer anxiety

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Abstract:

This study investigated the sources of cognitive interference in high vs. low computer anxious university students. A total of 149 psychology undergraduates were administered measures of computer anxiety, trait anxiety, computer experience and positive and negative thoughts associated with computers and computer use. It was hypothesized that individuals high in computer anxiety would report a greater number of debilitative thoughts than individuals low in computer anxiety. However, individuals high in computer anxiety were expected to report more on-task thoughts than individuals low in computer anxiety. In support of the hypotheses, a multivariate analysis of variance revealed that the high computer anxious group reported experiencing significantly more negative evaluations, off-task thoughts and negative computer cognitions than the low computer anxious group. In addition, the high computer anxious group reported fewer computer enjoyment cognitions than the low computer anxious group. Contrary to previous research findings, computer anxiety was not related to on-task thoughts when statistically controlling for off-task thoughts. The results are discussed in light of cognitive models of anxiety and prior research.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01449290110069392

Publication date: July 1, 2001

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