Reduction of test anxiety: A first attempt at economic evaluation

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This paper attempts to determine the subjective utility and value of reductions in test anxiety in students via intervention programs by asking subjects to estimate their willingness to pay to reduce such anxiety. The sample was composed of 207 students drawn from the Departments of Economics and Education at the University of Haifa in Israel. In the analogue procedure used, students were provided with four vignettes depicting profiles of students characterized by varying degrees of test anxiety. Subjects were asked to indicate what percentage of student tuition they recommend each of the hypothetical test-anxious students to pay for counselling designed to reduce their typical baseline levels of test anxiety to designated target levels. Students also rated the perceived probability of treatment success for each willingness to pay assessment. In addition, students responded to a test anxiety inventory, rated their current and desired levels of test anxiety, and indicated their own willingness to pay to receive counselling that would reduce their current level of anxiety with the desired level. As predicted, students with higher stakes associated with exam success are more anxious and are also willing to pay more for reduction in their own test anxiety levels compared to students with lower stakes. The data also supported the hypothesis that students who are more test anxious tend to be willing to pay more for test anxiety reduction. Furthermore, willingness to pay for reduction in test anxiety was related to the level of dissatisfaction with current anxiety levels, more so than with absolute baseline levels of test anxiety. In addition, students were willing to pay significantly more for a larger than smaller reduction in test anxiety. Based on the results, it appears that students are willing to pay for test anxiety reductions but the amount is far less than the services cost to provide—hardly good news for counselling center psychologists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 May 1994


  • Anxiety
  • anxiety reduction
  • economic valuation
  • test anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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