Affective Cues and Processing Strategy: Color-Coded Examination Forms Influence Performance

Robert C. Sinclair, Alexander S. Soldat, Melvin M. Mark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We argue that external cues provide affective information that influences processing strategy and, therefore, examination performance. Participants completed 2 supposedly different forms of a midterm examination; in fact, randomly assigned participants completed identical midterm examinations printed on either red or blue paper. Blue paper led to superior performance, especially for difficult questions. We note a method for appropriately adjusting scores to control for form effects while maintaining percentile rankings within and across forms. We discuss implications for test administration, examination form effects, and adjustment of scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-132
Number of pages3
JournalTeaching of Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • General Psychology


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