The impact of emotion on test performance

Graduate recruitment has changed considerably in recent years – and we’re fortunate to see this at first hand, and across the world. But how much impact does a test taker’s emotional state have on the final test result?

Dr Katharina Lochner, Professional Services Director at cut-e Consulting Singapore and Research Coordinator for the international cut-e Group explored this topic as part of her doctoral research thesis.


Previous research into the impact of emotional state on performance in psychometric testing offers conflicting results. However, it’s an important area to consider given the continued growth of using assessments during selection and recruitment stages in many organisations.

Dr Katharina Lochner’s research showed that there was no significant impact of emotions on ability test performance. This indicates that the reasoning ability tests that were used provided a relatively stable score and were not influenced by the test taker’s emotional state.

This is good news to test users as they can be reassured that performance of the test taker is a measure of his or her ability although there are, of course, other factors such as test anxiety which have been shown to influence test scores.

Read more about this study here.

July 16, 2015