Mitigating stress in college students by enhancing testing center environments through passive interaction with plants
The purpose of this study was to determine whether live plants placed into a university testing center (a stressful place) would reduce students' stress and improve subject matter test (a stressful event) performance in Math 101 students.
Math 101 students, in two summer terms, took a requisite subject matter test in a university testing center in the presence of plants (treatment) or the absence of plants (control). Common houseplants were placed in the peripheral view of student test takers on one half of the partitioned testing center, while the other half contained no plants. A performance measure (test score), a psychological measure (perceived stress scale) and physiological measures (blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature) were measured.
Students' body temperature increased, blood pressure increased, and heart rate decreased. Each of the physiological values were not statistically significant. Students' stress levels decreased, which was a statistically significant decrease at an alpha level of .10. Performance improved by 3.31 % and was a statistically significant improvement at an alpha level of .10.
0525: Educational psychology