Document Type : Original Article
payame noor university
Aim: The present research aimed to determine the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in Improving cognitive control and flexibility in anxious students. Methods: The design of was quasi-experimental with control group and pretest, posttest and a two month follow-up. The statistical population of this study included all female students of Payame Noor University of Guilan (N= 8000). After screening 200 students for test anxiety, thirty anxious students were randomly selected and assigned to an experimental and a control group (15 persons in each group). The instruments used were the Stroop test, (Stroop, 1935), the Flexibility Scale (Dennis and Vander Wal, 2009). In addition, participants took part in eight 90 minute sessions of Acceptance and Commitment therapy in accordance with Hayes and Rose’s (2008) ACT protocol. Data was analyzed using ANOVA with repeated measures. Results: Findings indicated a significant difference between the scores of the two groups in the correct response congruence (F= 5.05, P= 0.03), reaction times to congruent stimuli (F= 4.56, P= 0.04), correct response incongruence (F= 4.32, P= 0.05), reaction times to incongruent stimuli (F= 4.30, P= 0.05) and cognitive flexibility (F= 17, P= 0.03) in post-test and after two months follow up. Conclusions: According to the results of the present research, it can be concluded that ACT can reduce the anxiety of anxious students by improving cognitive control and enhancing cognitive flexibility.