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The effect of self-talk on presentation anxiety in university students

Lasai, N. (2022) The effect of self-talk on presentation anxiety in university students.

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Abstract:Many students experience presentation anxiety. Therefore, skills to decrease this feeling would be highly beneficial. One possible way of decreasing anxiety could be by using self-talk. The study investigated the effect of four types of self-talk. First, positive self-talk is seen as encouraging. Contrary, negative self-talk is self-critical. Neutral self-talk refers statements that are neither negative nor positive. Lastly, mixed self-talk is used when someone uses different types of self-talk. The general aim of this study was to examine whether the type of self-talk used by students influences their presentation anxiety levels. All participants (N=66) were university students. The participants rated their self-talk by themselves. The Personal Report of Public Speaking Anxiety (PRPSA) was used to measure the participants’ levels of presentation-anxiety. An ANOVA and a Tukey Honestly Significant Difference (HSD) test were performed to examine potential associations between the types of self-talk and presentation anxiety levels. Lastly, self-talk topics were explored in terms of frequencies. Participants who used negative self-talk (M=137.5, SD=20.45) had significantly (p=.004) lower levels of presentation anxiety than participants using positive self-talk (M=107.65, SD= 21.39). There was no statistically significant difference between the other types of self-talk. Additionally, ten self-talk topics were identified. “Motivational statements” (32.08%) was the most prevalent topic, followed by “instructions” (20%). Positive self-talk may be effective in decreasing presentation anxiety. To make the experience of students more comfortable and less stressful, it may be beneficial to introduce the concept of self-talk to students.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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