Participants and Procedure
A research study was conducted to determine if students who are psychology majors had lower anxiety than students in other majors. A sample of 60 students was selected from a population of all majors. Another sample of 60 students were selected from a population of students who were non-psychology majors. An anxiety test (dependent variable) was administered to each of the students in both samples (psychology majors and non-psychology majors – independent variable). The depression measure had a score range of 1 – 100 (interval scale), that was grouped to indicate the severity of anxiety symptoms, mild anxiety (scores 1 – 30), moderate anxiety (scores 31 – 70), and severe anxiety (scores 71 – 100). The cutoff score to be in the study was 35. An independent t test will be used to determine if there are differences between the two groups. Descriptive statistics and frequency analysis are also discussed below.
The anxiety data for both groups were analyzed using descriptive statistics and frequency distributions. When examining the psychology majors, students were classified as having low (n =30) moderate (n = 20) or severe (n = 10) anxiety. Overall, the psychology majors had low-moderate anxiety (M = 28.65, SD = 2.50); the distribution of scores were multimodal. Around 50% of the psychology majors scored a 30 or below, with most (75%) of students scoring lower than 37.
The non-psychology majors, students were classified in the same way as the psychology majors, having low (n =10) moderate (n = 30) or severe (n = 20) anxiety. Overall, the non-psychology majors had moderate anxiety (M = 65.28, SD = 2.13); the distribution of scores were multimodal. Around 70% of the psychology majors scored a 30 or above, with most (75%) of students scoring lower than 49.
An independent samples t test was conducted to determine if there were differences in anxiety between psychology and non-psychology majors. Our results indicate that psychology majors have a significantly lower anxiety than non-psychology majors, t(118) = -6.78, p <.001.
Based on the analysis above, students in psychology majors have significantly lower levels of anxiety than non-psychology majors. Psychology majors reported much lower anxiety symptoms and more students reported low or moderate anxiety. More research is needed to determine if the results can be inferred to other schools and to determine what other factors might explain the differences.
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