Drink availability is associated with enhanced examination performance in adults

Pawson, C., Gardner, M., Doherty, S., Martin, L., Soares, R. and Edmonds, C.J. 2013. Drink availability is associated with enhanced examination performance in adults. Psychology Teaching Review. 19 (1), pp. 57-66.

TitleDrink availability is associated with enhanced examination performance in adults
AuthorsPawson, C., Gardner, M., Doherty, S., Martin, L., Soares, R. and Edmonds, C.J.
Abstract

While dehydration has negative effects on memory and attention, few studies have investigated whether drinking water can enhance cognitive performance, and none have addressed this in a real-world setting. In this study we explored the potential benefits of the availability of water for undergraduates. The exam performance of students who brought drinks in to exams was compared with those that did not for three cohorts of undergraduates (N = 447). We employed earlier coursework marks as a measure of underlying ability. Students who brought water to the exam achieved better grades than students who did not. When coursework marks were covaried, this effect remained statistically significant, suggesting that this finding was not simply due to more able students being more likely to bring in water. This implies that water consumption may facilitate performance in real-world settings, and, therefore, have specific implications for the assessment of undergraduate learners under examination conditions, but further research is required to evaluate this hypothesis.

KeywordsWater, Tests, Undergraduate Students, Cohort Analysis, Grades (Scholastic), Comparative Analysis, Cognitive Processes, Performance Factors, Statistical Analysis, Multiple Choice Tests, Correlation
JournalPsychology Teaching Review
Journal citation19 (1), pp. 57-66
ISSN0965-948X
Year2013
PublisherBritish Psychological Society
Web address (URL)http://shop.bps.org.uk/publications/publication-by-series/psychology-teaching-review/psychology-teaching-review-vol-19-no-1-spring-2013.html
Publication dates
Published2013

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