Effect Of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy On The Level Of General And Examination Anxieties Among Students

Project and Seminar Material for Guidance and Counselling

Effect Of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy On The Level Of General And Examination Anxieties Among Students


This study will critically analyze published research on the effectiveness of Rational Emotive Education (REE), the educational derivative of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), with students. It will look at the history of societal views of children to examine how childhood mental health developed into a researched issue. REBT will be explained by looking at its historical development and unique components. Focus will then shift to how REBT can be applied exams anxieties among school students. The role parents play in the development of children’s irrational beliefs and four strategies to uncover these irrational beliefs will be explained. The necessary developmental level of students before REBT can be successfully used will be discussed along with specific techniques developed to help children grasp its concepts. REBT is discussed with a detailed look at its history, core concepts, and appropriate application within the classroom, including an explanation for why it is beneficial for students. The study will then closely analyze three studies that focus on REBT and its effectiveness with students. These studies, along with summaries from other REBT research review studies, will be evaluated to determine the effect of REBT on the level of examination anxieties among students. Recommendations for further research will also be discussed.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of Study

An abundance of research has shown that large transactional distance between geographically dispersed learners and supporting student in Open and Distance learning institutions contribute to students’ feelings of isolation, low self efficacy and reduced level of motivation which culminates to poor academic performance. This study, therefore, examined the impact of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) in fostering self-efficacy amongst academically at-risk learners in National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). A pre-test and post-test control group quasi experimental design with 2x2x2x2 factorial matrix was adopted for the study. Stratified random and Probability Proportional to Size sampling techniques (PPS) were used to draw one hundred and thirty-five respondents (Males=68; Females=67) with age range of between 22 and 51 years ( x =16.17; SD=1.01) from first-year NOUN undergraduates in South West geopolitical zone of Nigeria.
The experimental group was treated with nine sessions of one and half hour using REBT, while the control group was not treated. General Self Efficacy (GSE) scale (r=0.81) was the outcome measure. Analysis of Covariance and t-test for independent samples were used to test the four null hypotheses at 0.05 alphas. The findings revealed that REBT was effective in fostering self-efficacy in the treated group (F (1,130) = 54.11, P

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The 20th century has been called ‘The Century of the Child’ due to its increase of knowledge in child development, and the well-established belief that students are not miniature adults but unique beings who think, rationalize, and process information using an underdeveloped mind and limited reasoning ability. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), a form of cognitive-behavior therapy created by Albert Ellis that suggests people develop core irrational beliefs based on their interpretation of the events that happen to them, strongly emphasizes core irrational beliefs, the ability to think about how you are thinking, and the connection between cognition, emotion, and behavior. These ideas are highly developed and can cause anxiety to students preparing for exams. Although REBT asserts that it can be successfully used on students, the noticeable inability for some students to grasp the core components of REBT leaves room for speculation on its success with this given population. Hence, there is a need to examine the research surrounding REBT and Rational-Emotive Education (REE), REBT7s educational derivative, and their effectiveness with students more closely to determine if it is a valid practice or not.

1.3 Objectives of Study

  1. To examine the effects of REBT on key performance of school students.
  2. To examine the effects of REBT on psychological, physiological, and performance outcomes
  3. To examine the effects of irrational and rational self-statements on examination anxiety and motor-skill performance using an experimental research design.

1.4 Research questions

  1. What are the effects of REBT on key performance of school students?
  2. What are the effects of REBT on psychological, physiological, and performance outcomes
  3. What are the effects of irrational and rational self-statements on examination anxiety and motor-skill performance using an experimental research design.

1.5 Significance of Study

The writers review of the literature revealed no published research studies to assess the effect of a rational emotive behavior therapy, bibliography intervention on the relationship between the constructs, irrational believes and burnout factors of emotional exhaustion examination anxiety and diminished personal accomplishment by students.

The intent of this work was to provide a link to ascertain whether a student who have more irrational beliefs also have a greater propensity over burn out than do those individuals who have fewer irrational beliefs.

1.6 Assumptions of the Study

The main assumptions of this study are that Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and Rational-Emotive Education have been practiced on children, there is debate on the effectiveness of them, and both sides of the debate have written comprehensive and logical papers that include both empirical and non-empirical reasoning to help validate their point. It is also assumed that these materials will be available for the general public to locate and obtain.

1.7 Definition of Terms

Some terms can have ambiguous meaning in their general form. For the use of this thesis, the following terms will be used as they are defined here.

Automatic thoughts

Automatic thoughts are cognitive thoughts that accompany an emotion (Beck, 1976 as cited in DiGiuseppe, 1990).


Students are people mostly within the age of nine to nineteen in secondary schools.


Classroom is the primary room in the school where 15-25 children learn their academic lessons from an instructor. Disputation is the process of disputing an irrational belief.

Distressed children

Distressed children are those who are of average intelligence and normal functioning but are dealing with one or more emotional disturbances, i.e. anxiety, anger, depression.

Disturbed behaviors

Disturbed behaviors are behaviors that are self-defeating and hinder one from achieving their goal and happiness.

Irrational beliefs

Irrational beliefs are beliefs that are demanding, absolute, overdramatic, catastrophizing, global evaluations of human worth, are activated automatically, and lead to emotional disturbances such as depression, panic, and anger (Sherin & Caiger, 2004; DiGiusppe & Bernard, 1990).

Non stressed children

Non stressed children are those who are of average intelligence and normal functioning and are not dealing with any severe emotional disturbances.

Rational beliefs

Rational beliefs are beliefs that are true and logical, can be supported by solid proof, are not absolute commands but are rather desires, wishes, hopes, and preferences, and lead to moderate emotions such as sadness, disappointment, and concern which help to motivate the individual to attain one’s goals (Wilde, 1996; DiGiuseppe & Bernard, 1990).

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is a form of cognitive-behavior therapy created by Albert Ellis that suggests people develop core irrational beliefs based on their interpretation of the events that happen to them. These beliefs are best disputed through realistic, logical, and practikcal reasoning, and this is accomplished by using the ABCD model of emotional episodes.

Rational Emotive Education

Rational Emotive Education is the educational derivative of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, and is a methodical program of study that teaches emotional education to children.

1.8 Limitations of the Study

A limitation of the study includes the researcher not finding and utilizing all the relevant material available on the topic of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and Rational-Emotive Education and their effectiveness with student’s examination anxietym. The researcher’s resource materials are limited to those she is able to locate and obtain during her year of writing and while utilizing the research databases available to her.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 recommendations

It is important to understand the results in terms of its limitations and offer recommendations for future research within REBT and performance. In Part II the effects of irrational and rational self-statements rather than core beliefs were investigated in lab-based settings. In both Experiment 1 and 2 methodological and measurement efforts were made to ascertain sufficient task engagement and manipulation checks. Nevertheless, the findings from the present study indicate it may be difficult to engender irrational and rational beliefs within experimental settings and using a novel task. While both self-report and objective measures of heart rate were used to confirm participant’s engagement with the study manipulations the content of self-statements were not tailored to irrational and RBs pertinent to the participants. As such to enhance the internal validity of future studies may wish to screen and split participants who hold high and low irrational beliefs about meaningful performance tasks within ecological valid settings. To also offer a more sensitive and accurate examination, future researchers may also wish to tailor core beliefs relevant to the participant, as well favour the use of objective measures (i.e., pupil dilation as a measure of mental effort; Wood et al., 2016).

Due to recruitment and temporal constraints within the research process, the present study failed to recruit 51 participants within each group and achieve statistical power, as such the study conclusions should be tempered accordingly. In contrast to Part I, greater methodological rigor and control was given to the data collection process and reduced threats to internal validity. With this came the compromise of reducing the external validity of the findings in terms of individuals (i.e., undergraduate university students) and ecological validity (i.e., lab- setting). Future researchers may attempt to conduct applied field-based studies participant’s representative of elite athletes. In the present studies, the SGABS provided a reliable and validated measure of total general irrational belief scores. However, future researchers would be prudent to adopt a newly validated measure of IBs tailored for performance contexts, named the irrational Performance Beliefs Inventory (iPBI; Turner et al., 2016) to provide an accurate measure of performance specific beliefs. RBs and IBs are proposed to be dichotomous constructs, whereby low levels in one does not necessarily indicate high levels in the other (Bernard, 1998).

Future researchers may wish to explore the interplay between irrational and rational beliefs, and the subsequent effects on performance. Research within REBT proposes a unitary model of emotion that are quantitatively distinct (i.e., high vs. low anxiety) and a binary model of emotion that are qualitatively distinct (i.e., anxiety vs. concern; Hyland & Boduszek, 2012). To this end, future researchers are recommended to establish a validated and reliable measure of emotion sensitive to measuring both the functionality and intensity. The precise mechanisms by which irrational and rational beliefs effect performance appear to be more complicated than previously hypothesised, therefore future researchers may wish to explore role of important psychological factors (e.g., self-efficacy) that may mediate the association between beliefs and performance.

5.2 Conclusion

Building on Part I and addressing aim two of the present thesis, in Part II the effects of irrational and rational self-statements were examined on objective markers of performance (e.g., golf-putting, hazard perception score, eye gaze data), pre-performance anxiety, concentration disruption, and physiological arousal (e.g., changes in heart rate). The findings however contrast with previous research indicating that the adoption of irrational self- statements did not lead to adverse effects on performance, performance efficiency, persistence, and psychological outcomes above that of rational self-statements. This said, in- line with social validation put forth in Part I, the present findings showed no significantdifferences in task persistence. Indirectly suggesting those who endorse IBs are not better able to tolerate discomfort and/or expended greater effort; alternatively, researchers (Turner, 2016) hypothesised distinctions in the quality of motivation. Challenging a polarised view of irrational and rational beliefs towards performance, individual (e.g., self-efficacy, cognitive dissonance) and contextual factors may instead dictate the precise effects of beliefs on emotional, behavioural, and performance consequences. As well, IBs may have both positive and negative effects on performance, highlighting distinctions in both factual and practical rationality that have been overlooked within the literature. The detrimental effects of IBs for psychological health are established, accordingly understanding the precise effects and mechanisms by which irrational and rational beliefs effects ones ability to perform has valuable implications for practitioners utilising REBT within high performance contexts.

Get Complete Project Material

5,000 5000

The Complete Material Will Be Sent to You in Just 2 Steps

Quick & Simple…

Step One Purchase

Make Payment (Through Transfer) of ₦5,000 to the Account Below

Zenith BankAcc No: 1225513212
Samphina Academy
Current Account

Or CLICK HERE To Pay With Debit Card

CLICK HERE To Purchase Material ($15)

Step Two Purchase

Send the Following Details on WhatsApp ( 08143831497) After Payment

  1. Payment Details

  2. TOPIC: Effect Of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy On The Level Of General And Examination Anxieties Among Students

The Complete Material Will Be Sent To You On WhatsApp After Receiving Your Details
T & C Apply

  Contact Our Help Desk

Need a Different Topic? Perform a Quick Search

List of Related Works

Click on Any Topic to Preview the Content


Samphina Academy

Samphina Academy is an Online Educational Resource Center that is aimed at providing students with quality information and materials to aid them in succeeding in their academic pursuit.