Comparing Effects of Cognitive Behavioral and Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Commitment Interventions on Performance Anxiety in a Music Context

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Huffman, Jonathan Michael
Washburn University
Issue Date
November 9, 2015
Alternative Title
The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two interventions based on cognitive behavioral (CB) and mindfulness, acceptance, and commitment (MAC) approaches against a no treatment control group on reducing the symptoms of written examination and audio performance anxiety. Three sections of an undergraduate general education music course participated in the study (N = 104), with each assigned to one of three conditions: a) CB intervention (n = 40), b) MAC intervention (n = 26), and c) no-treatment control group (n = 38). All participants completed pre- and post-test measures that included measures of knowledge of, and attitudes toward, CB and MAC theories and concepts, and performance anxiety. Additional dependent variables were obtained via participants’ provision of permission to release their written examination and audio performance scores from their midterm and final exams. The participants in the CB and MAC intervention received two 20-minute PowerPoint informational lectures that described the fundamental theoretical principles and concepts of their assigned condition. Pre-existing differences were controlled for in subsequent analysis. Results suggest that both the CB and MAC interventions were effective in increasing participants’ knowledge of these approaches. In addition, the CB and MAC interventions were effective in increasing audio performance from midterm to final examination. This suggests that CB and MAC interventions may be appropriate for improving performance within a music context specifically.