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There is substantial evidence that the disposition of test takers is central to performance. This research extends previous work by replicating the experimental design of L. Wolf and J. Smith (1995) and conducting a secondary analysis of their data to attempt to demonstrate differential effect sizes for examinees reporting varying motivation levels in consequences versus no-consequences situations. The second phase of the study investigated the hypothesis that examinee motivation and item type moderate the relationship between test consequences and test performance by expanding the Wolf and Smith design to include multiple-choice and essay test items. Ninety undergraduate psychology majors participated in the study. The study supported previous findings concerning increases in self-reports of motivation and enhanced test performances in testing situations with consequences. The motivation subscores of Importance and Effort were found to be useful, and for some of the hypotheses the two scores behaved differently and in accord with expectations concerning the construct and context. The effect sizes observed for motivation and performance in the essay format compared to the multiple-choice were among the largest obtained in the study. (Contains 2 figures, 14 tables, and 9 references.) (SLD)

Descriptors: Effect Size, High Stakes Tests, Higher Education, Performance Factors, Student Attitudes, Student Motivation, Tables (Data), Undergraduate Students

Autor: Sundre, Donna L.


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