Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (Honours) BEd (Secondary) (Hons)





First Advisor

Dr Darren Morton


130106 Secondary Education


Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of repetition on state anxiety during an anxiety-invoking task and the associated ability to process visual and auditory cues.

Methods: Twenty-six females (21.8 2.8 yrs.) were required to perform six lunges, separated by five minutes, from a six-meter platform. Measures of state anxiety were recorded during each attempt including time to jump (Tjump), heart rate (HRjump) and self reported evaluations of somatic (SA) and cognitive anxiety (CA). During the countdown to jump the subjects were exposed to five visual and five auditory pieces of information that they were asked to recall 60 seconds after the lunge.

Results: Only 13 of the 26 subjects were able to complete the required six lunges. Those who completed all attempts (Complete Group) had previously reported lower levels of trait anxiety (TA) than the withdraw group and recorded significantly lower Tjump in the first attempt. The Complete Group demonstrated significant reductions in arousal after only one attempt (p

Conclusions: The results indicate that the individual response to repetition of an anxiety evoking task is highly variable. When learning skills that induce anxiety, optimal information processing appears to occur in the third or fourth attempt as high levels of anxiety are associated with earlier attempts and complacency can occur with further attempts. Visual cues are processed more readily than auditory cues at all levels of arousal, highlighting the importance of visual instruction strategies. The findings are informative from the perspective of understanding best practice in the learning of anxiety-evoking skills and are therefore relevant in many sporting, educational and vocational settings.


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A print copy of this thesis is held in the Avondale College Library (SC Theses 152.46 N31).