At the Intersection of
Thinking and Feeling:
Motivation, Emotion,
and how they impact learning
Today’s Topics
–“Cold” vs “Hot” cognition
and motivation
–Flow vs Fear
–Helplessness vs Efficacy
–Neurophysiology of
emotion and memory
“Hot” vs “Cold”
cognition
• The idea of “cold” logic is misleading
– The mind and body interact.
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Descartes’ Error by A. Damasio
Mood congruent memory
Mood congruent evaluation
Mood and processing style
– Critical thinking requires certain dispositions
• Thought and Knowledge by D. Halpern
Motivation theory
• “Hot” cognition:
– Motivation influences disposition to learn.
• Pintrich, Marx and Boyle “Beyond Cold Cognition”
• Goal orientation theory
– Dweck and Elliot “A Socio-Cognitive Perspective on Motivation”
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Mastery goals “I want to learn.”
Performance approach “I want to succeed.”
Performance avoidance “I don’t want to fail.”
Strategic effort “I want the biggest bang for my buck.”
• Implications for teaching?
Flow vs Fear
• The ultimate state of intrinsic motivation
– A. Csikzentmihalyi Flow: The Ultimate Experience
– B. Same experience reported across activities
– C. Balance between challenge and control
• Can we achieve flow in educational settings?
Flow vs Fear
• Anxiety and its effects on learning
– The “Yerkes-Dodson” curve
– Physiological effects
– Cognitive effects
• You can mitigate the effects of anxiety through
class activities and policies.
Helplessness vs
Self-efficacy
• Learned helplessness
– M. Seligman Learned Helplessness
– Caused by an inability to predict or avoid unpleasant
events
– Characterized by low effort, depression-like behaviors
• Can we overcome it in our students?
Helplessness vs
Self-efficacy
• Self-efficacy – an antidote to helplessness
– A. Bandura Self-efficacy
– Belief that one can do a specific task
– Best predictor of student achievement
• How do we foster it in our students?
– Successes, past and present
– Vicarious success (see others succeed)
– Persuasion
Neurophysiology of
emotion and memory
• Memories have an emotional “tag” that aids in
recall.
– A. Damasio Descartes’ Error
– The structures of the brain bring emotion and memory
in close proximity with lots of interconnections.
• The effects of stress on neurophysiology
– Scientific American special issues on the brain
• Tune in later for future developments
• Cognition is influenced by
motivations.
• Positive and negative
emotion affect behavior.
• Self-efficacy is a key.
• There is a lot more to
learn.
Readings mentioned
• A. Damasio Descartes’ Error
• D. Halpern Thought and Knowledge
• M. Csikzentmihalya Flow: the Ultimate
Experience
• Pintrich, Marx and Boyle “Beyond cold cognition”
in Review of Ed Research
• C. Dweck and M. Elliot “A sociocognitive
perspective on motivation” Educational
Psychologist
• M. Seligman Learned Helplessness
• A. Bandura Self-Efficacy
Motivation theory 2
• Self-determination theory
– Choice
– Control
– Competence
– Relatedness
• Implications for teaching?
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At the intersection of thinking and feeling: Motivation, Emotion