Omar, A., National Council of Scientific Research and Technology and Uribe Delgado, H., National University of Rosario, Argentina
One domain for which scientific knowledge is largely lacking to date are the emotions that students experience in tackling academic tasks. It can be assumed, however, that situations of learning may induce a great number of different emotions and that emotions may deeply influence academic motivation and performance. The present study examines the impact of emotions on achievement and learning. The exploration was carried out on a sample of 474 Argentinean high school students, previously classified as "successful" (n=251) and "unsuccessful" (n= 223) by their mathematics and social teachers. Data collection was accomplished by using Motivation to Learning Scale (Vallerand, 1998), and an own version of semantic differential technique aimed to elicit affective reactions to academic tasks. In addition, information about self-perception of academic performance was collected from each student. Multiple regression analyses revealed that: a) positive process-related (on-task) emotions were important predictors of intrinsic task motivation and good performance; b) negative prospective (pre-task) and retrospective (post-task) emotions were significant predictors of a-motivation and poor performance. Multidimensional analyses showed a different set of results for girls and successful students on the one hand and boys and unsuccessful students on the other. In the former group positive individual and social emotions loaded together with high achievement motivation and good academic performance, while for the later group negative individual emotions loaded together with low achievement motivation and bad academic performance. The results are discussed in terms of the emotions framework.