State Anxiety and Exposure to Microcomputers: Assessing Computerphobia
This study was conducted to investigate whether increased levels of state anxiety are associated with microcomputers. Participants included 116 undergraduate and graduate education and library science students with an age range of 20 to 55. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Form Y, was administered to a control group (N=58) and an experimental (N=58) group. The control group received both portions of the test in a normal classroom environment, while the experimental group received the trait portion in class and then proceeded to the computer lab for an introductory lesson in computer-assisted instruction; during this lesson they completed the state portion of the test on the computer. Comparison of means for the two groups indicated no significant differences, although the state anxiety scores for the computer group (M=48.24) were substantially higher than the scores for the print group (M=36.12). However, within-group variance was so high for the computer group that no significant difference occurred. The trait anxiety scores (M=36.59 and M=36.79) were virtually equivalent. Only six members of the experimental group were males; while their level of state anxiety was slightly lower (M=46.12) than the level for females (M=48.36), the difference was not significant. Although the study provides some statistically inconclusive evidence for increased anxiety states when exposed to microcomputers, these results are greatly affected by individual differences, as evidenced by the high level of within-group variance. A list of references and sample test questions are included. (JB)
Jonassen, D.H. State Anxiety and Exposure to Microcomputers: Assessing Computerphobia.