A study reveals that the learning and cognitive performance of students can be affected by their emotional reactions to learning.
The study conducted on 3,425 German students from grades 5 to 9, investigated how the students’ emotions like boredom, anxiety and enjoyment in a school context relate to their achievement.
They focused on math achievements as it not only has significant bearing on education and economic productivity but also is known to invoke strong emotional reactions in students.
"We found that emotions influenced students' math achievement over the years," says Reinhard Pekrun, the research lead. "Students with higher intelligence had better grades and test scores, but those who also enjoyed and took pride in math had even better achievement. Students who experienced anger, anxiety, shame, boredom, or hopelessness had lower achievement" he adds.
They also found that those who accomplished in math had decreased negative emotions and increased positive ones over time. And, on the other hand, students who performed poorly displayed an increase in negative emotions and decline in positive emotions.
The authors advised that parents, educators and administrators work to enforce the positive emotions of students and minimize the negative ones.