YOU witnessed my evaluation apprehension- Christine Sellers

Remember that one time when you walked into our class and saw a girl in the front row hooked up to a machine that beeped a lot? Me too. It was taking my blood pressure. Little did I know that I had volunteered to prove that evaluation apprehension exists. This means that when I am aware of other people around me and I am concerned about my performance in front of them, my performance will change… and my physiological state.

So I start by answering math questions on a piece of paper. Piece of cake? I thought so. Little did I realize that I would find out the my blood pressure and heart rate were about to shoot through the roof. Then I started answering harder math questions, and I became increasingly aware of our class sitting behind me. Could they see the mistakes I was making? Were they making fun of me for how slowly I was subtracting by 14? Ohhh man am I sweating? Can they tell?

It only got worse from here. I had to sit on front of the class and answer the math questions. Seriously? I can’t even remember the last time I did simple subtraction. Subtracting by 27?! Freaking impossible.

The results? Because I was in front of the class… my performance on simple math actually got better. My physiological state? Blood pressure and heart rate skyrocketed. Subtracting by 27… well, I did significantly worse. I was so darn worried about other people in the class doing it in their heads faster than me, or how I looked, or how people were gonna think I was an idiot, that I completely started to suck at math.

You all witnessed that evaluation apprehension is an extremely real thing. At least you learned the easy way.

  1. #1 by kaylasharee on May 21, 2012 - 6:21 PM

    I think you did a great job illustrating evaluation apprehension (even if you did it without knowing you were going to).Personally, I’m glad it was you, and not me because I’m terrible at doing math in my head. Overall, your definition was correct and your performance was stellar. Well done Christine!

    Kayla Baucom

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