Eyespy: April 2011
Sharing anxiety—Students who underperform in examinations because of anxiety do better when they spend 10 minutes writing about their fears just before they sit the exam. In a series of laboratory tests (Science 2011;331:211-3) where low and high pressure testing situations were created, the students who wrote about their anxiety did better than those who wrote about unrelated, non-emotional subjects or who sat quietly for 10 minutes before the exam. The results were more pronounced in high pressure situations, and in students who openly admitted their worries in a survey before the exam.
Distracting computer games—Addicted to solitaire? Avoid playing it during meals. In a randomised control trial, 44 participants were provided with the same lunch. Half ate while playing solitaire on a computer, while the rest ate without any distractions. Half an hour later all participants were invited to eat as many biscuits as they felt like. Those