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EFT Research Paper

The Effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for Optimal Test Performance: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Jain & Rubino

Citation: Jain, S., & Rubino, A. (2012). The effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for optimal test performance: A randomized controlled trial. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, & Treatment, 4(2), 13-24. doi:10.9769.EPJ.2012.4.2.SJ

Click here to view Abstract http://goo.gl/D80NIZ


Test anxiety causes, effects and interventions have been widely studied. This study seeks to determine the efficacy of a single brief intervention—Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)—to support the ability to shift attention appropriately to achieve optimal levels of both test anxiety and test performance.

The initial sample consisted of 168 undergraduates from three universities in the Inland Northwest USA who were randomly assigned to 3 different groups. Group 1 learned EFT, Group 2 learned Diaphragmatic Breathing (DB), and Group 3 served as a no-treatment control. Participants in the two experimental groups received two 2-hour lessons.

The Sarason Reactions To Tests (RTT), Symptom Assessment -45 Questionnaire (SA-45) and Westside Test Anxiety Scale instruments, as well as a 5-item self-care questionnaire and a request for a qualitative list of individual, test-related concerns, were administered as pre- and post- measures, with a second follow-up at the end of the semester.

Subsequent ANOVAs revealed significant improvements in both the DB and EFT groups on most measures, with gains maintained on follow-up.

Editor’s Note

168 undergraduate university students from 3 colleges were used to explore 2 interventions for test anxiety, a condition which affects an estimated 33% of students. The design was a mixed method pretest/post-test experiment including instructions in the use of EFT for group 1 (including two 2 hour training sessions), diaphragmatic breathing relaxation for group 2 and no intervention for group 3. The first two groups were asked to self-apply what they were taught for four weeks for 5 minutes before study sessions and exams. Results showed significant improvements by both groups on most of the measures taken revealed their gains upon follow-up.