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Note: This test review was published by BPS on 2nd March 2006
Description of the Test:
The inventory is based on the distinction between state anxiety and trait anxiety. State anxiety is defined as a transitory, emotional condition characterised by subjective feelings of tension and apprehension. Trait anxiety is defined as anxiety-proneness - that is an individuals tendency to respond to stressful situations with raised state anxiety. The STAI consists of two questionnaires, each of 20 items, designed for the self reported assessment of the intensity of feelings. As such, the STAI adopts a psychological reasoning approach - that is, I feel ... (see Cox & Ferguson, 1991). The State scale (S) is designed to assess anxiety as it relates to a specifically experienced situation in terms of apprehension, worry, tension and nervousness (how you feel right now, that is, at this moment). The S scale is scored on a four-point Likert-type scale (from 1 = Not at all to 4 = Very much so). For the S scale half of the items are reversed (i.e. assess the absence of situational anxiety). The Trait scale (T), on the other hand, is designed to assess the persons general level of anxiety in terms of the general tendency to respond fearfully to a number of aversive stimuli (how you generally feel). Again, the T scale is scored on a four-point Likert-type scale (from 1 = Almost never to 4 = Almost always). For the T scale nine of the 20 items are reversed (i.e. assess the absence of general anxiety).
Authors:C. D. Spielberger, R. L. Gorsuch, R. Lushene, P. R. Vagg and G. A. Jacobs.
Test Publisher: The Myers-Briggs Company
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