A study of the state-trait anxiety inventory and the assessment of stress under simulated conditions

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Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Aviation Medicine, 1972 - 5 pages
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One approach to the measurement of stress in ATC and other aviation personnel is through assessment of anxiety. One means of accomplishing this is to use the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), a 40-item self-report technique. In order to determine if stress can be simulated on the STAI, the responses of 283 subjects obtained under normal instructions were compared to their responses obtained when asked to make it appear as if they were experiencing a high degree of stress. It was found that while both the A-State (current anxiety level) and A-Trait (anxiety proneness) scales were influenced by this response set, the effect was greater for the A-State scale. Using the A-State raw score alone as an index of bias resulted in 95.7% accuracy in protocol classification. A two-step procedure, using eight items and the A-State raw score, was subsequently devised which reduced false-positive classifications of legitimate psychiatric patient profiles from 49% to 38% with no reduction in discriminatory power for 'normal' records. The application of the index to clinical and research settings in aviation was discussed. (Author).

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