Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Richard Miller, Betsy, Howton, Daniel Shiek

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


In an attempt to assess the effect of relaxation training on anxiety levels, a population of 350 students enrolled in Introduction to Psychology classes at Western Kentucky University were administered the Institute for Personality and Ability Testing (IPAT) 8- Parallel- Form Anxiety Battery to screen for 36 high anxiety subjects. These subjects were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: biofeedback, deep muscle relaxation, or control. The biofeedback group received electromyograph training over a three-week period, while the deep muscle relaxation group listened to relaxation tapes. Alternate forms of the IPAT were administered to all subjects at specified intervals to observe changes in the anxiety levels for each group as a function of training. Analysis of the results indicated that no significant differences existed among training conditions. However, significant results were found across training sessions irrespective of training conditions. Discussion centered on the impact of individual differences in performance, differential rates of mastery and motivational differences of each subject. Additional discussion focused upon the apparent abilities of subjects to achieve physiological relaxation without achieving anxiety reduction.


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Psychology Commons