Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



In recent years, there has been an increasing concern among educators and psychologists regarding the individual personality variables that affect scholastic attainment and performance. Anxiety is one of the more frequently discussed (and written about) variables affecting intellectual attainment through individual personality structure. Anxiety has been looked upon by several experimentalists as a facilitating force which drives the human organism to greater heights of performance. Other researchers have thought of anxiety as a detriment or non-facilitating element which is present in our modern and highly complex culture. The present study is being written in an attempt to clarify some of the concepts which have previously been presented concerning anxiety and its probable effects on intellectual performance. Although this text deals exclusively with manifest anxiety, the ramifications of its findings should shed considerable light upon the subject of anxiety in general. The problem for this research has its origins in an educational institution and will be of pertinent concern to educators and administrators within this institution and those schools having similar methods of grading students. The problems relevant to this thesis are: (1) Does manifest anxiety accompany grade-point delinquency within a group of freshman college students? If manifest anxiety does accompany grade-point delinquency, is its level of intensity higher in this group than it is in a group of similar freshman students who are non-grade-point delinquent? (2) Manifest anxiety may or may not be found in grade-point delinquent or non-grade-point delinquent students. But, if there is an accompanying anxiety factor within either of these groups, we must answer a question which has been the concern of psychologists for a number of years. Does the manifest anxiety present in either group (grade-point delinquents or non-grade-point delinquents) correlate with their scholastic aptitude as it is measured by the A.C.E.? South Dakota State College has for the past several years followed the policy of notifying those members of its student body, who are grade-point delinquent at mid-term, of this fact. This procedure may be presented briefly by the following explanation. The members of the faculty have set up standards within their specific course which the students are expected to maintain. If a student is not performing up to the expected level the instructor notifies the office of Admissions and Records, which in turn notifies the Divisional Deans. The Deans then contact those students within their division regarding the mid-term delinquency. This procedure is followed in an attempt to clarify the student’s present status within the class. The administration is interested in obtaining data which would objectively point out whether or not this method of presenting mid-term delinquencies tends to raise the level of anxiety manifested by students who have had the experience of being delinquent in previous quarters. That is, do students who have been delinquent in previous quarters manifest a state of anxiety toward mid-term examinations which could have a crippling effect on their performance? The relevant hypotheses to this research are: (1) that manifest Anxiety, as it is measured by Taylor’s Manifest Anxiety Scale, will be significantly higher in freshman students who have been grade-point delinquent than it will in a comparable group of freshman students who have not been grade-point delinquent. (2) That the correlation between A.C.E. Total scores and M.A.S. scores for the grade-point delinquent group is not significantly different from zero. (3) That the correlation between A.C.E. Total scores and M.A.S. scores for the non-grade-point delinquent group is not significantly different from zero.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

South Dakota State College -- Freshmen
Test anxiety


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University