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Many studies have discussed methods of improving individuals’ performance in a variety of fields. Furthermore, studies also have observed how social interactions may have an impact, whether positive or negative, on an individual's performance. The current study aims to expand on this thread and take a deeper scope on the immediate impact on academic test-taking ability of the presence of a confident colleague. Additionally, the current study explores whether the change of performance, if any, impacted by the stimuli is exaggerated depending on the subject’s sex or extraversion. The current study assigned 14 Bard undergrad students to the control group, and 7 Bard undergrad students to the experimental group. All participants were asked to take two short mathematics tests consecutively, one easy and one difficult, with no time limit. The experimental group had a confident confederate acting as another participant that worked on the same task next to the subject and was asked to finish the test drastically earlier than average. I hypothesized that participants in the experimental group would perform the task significantly faster than the control groups in both tests, but would show impaired accuracy in both tests. I also hypothesized that there will be a difference in effect depending on the participant’s sex and extraversion. The results showed that there was no difference in test scores between groups, but participants in experimental condition performed faster in the difficult exam. Additionally, difference in sex did not affect the effect of the confederate’s presence in participant’s score or time, but extraversion did affect in terms of score.
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Lee, Woanjun, "Friend or Foe? Outstanding Peer’s Unexpected Impact on Test Taking Ability" (2020). Senior Projects Spring 2020. 246.
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