Investigating achievement emotions and learning strategies as mediators of achievement goals and academic achievement J. Ranellucci1, N. C. Hall1, K. Hubbard1, & T. Goetz2 McGill University1, University of Konstanz2 Background The control-value theory of achievement emotions posits that environmental factors, such as goal structures, instructional quality, and prior achievement predict student appraisals, including control, value, achievement goals, and beliefs, which in turn predict student emotions, which predicts students’ learning via motivation to learn, investment of cognitive resources, use of learning strategies, which ultimately predicts achievement (Pekrun, 2006). The present study proposes a five-step model leading from fall semester GPA, to personal achievement goals, to achievement emotions, to learning strategies, and finally to winter semester GPA, and thus represents a comprehensive, empirical evaluation of Pekrun’s (2006) control-value theory. Furthermore, this study builds on prior research (for instance Daniels et al., 2009) in a number of ways, including, investigating all variables simultaneously, separating performance goals into approach and avoidance dimensions, by incorporating measures assessed at multiple time points, and by including a relevant, but rarely investigated variable, namely time-management. Method Participants Two hundred three undergraduate students enrolled in various programs in a large American university volunteered to participate in this study (N = 133 males). The mean age of participants was 19.76 (SD = 1.87). Procedure Participants were recruited by email and filled out the questionnaires online at their leisure. Participants filled out the questionnaires during the first month of the winter semester, and provided consent for their fall and winter semester GPAs to be collected directly from the registrar. The questionnaire package consists of a brief questionnaire measuring conventional demographic variables, followed by the measures listed in the model. Method (cont.) Results Discussion (cont.) Measures The Hypothesized Model. Solid paths indicate positive and broken lines indicate negative paths An interesting finding, is the relationship found between boredom and time management. In line with reports of “altered perceptions of time” (Pekrun et al., 2010), boredom negatively predicted time management. This relationship is theoretically aligned, with important practical considerations, that have largely been overlooked in the literature. Achievement goals. Measured with Elliot and Murayama’s (2008) Achievement Goal Questionnaire-Revised (AGQ-R), which consists of three items per goal. A sample masteryapproach (α = .86) item is “My aim is to completely master the material presented in class.” A sample performance-approach (α = .91) item is “I am striving to do well compared to other students.” A sample performance-avoidance (α = .91) item is “My goal is to avoid learning less than I possibly could.” Participants responded on a five point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Mastery-avoidance was not included in the analysis. A peculiar finding is that critical thinking negatively predicted winter GPA. Conceptually, critical thinking is often viewed as an adaptive strategy that should positively predict academic achievement (for instance Muis & Franco, 2008). A possible explanation is that critical thinking is incompatible with the compliant type of learning found in many educational institutions. Achievement emotions. Measured with Pekrun et al.’s (2011) Achievement Emotions Questionnaire (AEQ). Enjoyment (α = .84) was measured with 10 items, a sample item is “I look forward to studying”, boredom (α = .91) was measured with 11 items, a sample item is “The material bores me to death”, and anxiety (α = .90) was measured with 11 items, a sample item is “I get tense and nervous while studying”. Participants responded on a five point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Learning strategies. Pintrich et al.’s (1991) Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) was used to measure critical thinking and elaboration. Critical thinking (α = .77) was measured with 5 items, a sample item is “I treat course material as a starting point and try to develop my own ideas about it”. Elaboration (α = .77) was measured with 6 items, a sample item is “I try to relate ideas in a subject to those in other courses whenever possible”. Participants responded to the MSLQ subscales on a seven point Likert scale ranging from 1 (not at all true of me) to 5 (very true of me). Britton and Tesser’s (1991) Time-management Questionnaire (TMQ) was used to measure time management. Time management (α = .85) was measured with 18 items, a sample item is “Do you make constructive use of your time?” Participants responded on a five point Likert scale ranging from 1 (never) to 5 (very often). Self-monitoring (α = .82) was measured with a 4 item scale adapted by Perry et al. (2001). A sample self-monitoring item is “When I study, I can recognize when I’ve studied enough to pass a test.” Participants responded on a five point Likert scale ranging from 1 (never) to 5 (very often) GPA. Fall and winter GPA was collected from the registrar Analysis Structural equation modelling was used to assess the structural relationships between the variables of interest. The model was run with all possible paths included. Given the limited sample size and the large number of items measuring boredom, anxiety, enjoyment, and timemanagement, three parcels for each variable were created via random selection (see Little et al., 2002). Covariates included year of study, age and high school grade. The Structural Equation Model. Resulted in satisfactory fit, χ2 (364, N = 203) = 568.6, p < .001, CFI = .915, and RMSEA = .053. This study included three measurement times, future studies should extend these findings across all steps. Furthermore, future research should evaluate the control-value theory with alternative assessments of motivation, emotion, and strategies, including different constructs and non self-report based measures. References Britton, B. K. & Tesser, A. (1991). Effects of time-management practices on college grades. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 405-410. Daniels, L. M., Stupnisky, R. H., Pekrun, R., Haynes, T. L., Perry, R. P., Newall, N. E. (2009). A longitudinal analysis of achievement goals: From affective antecedents to emotional effects and achievement outcomes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101, 948-963. Elliot, A. J. & Murayama, K. (2008). On the measurement of achievement goals: Critique, illustration, and application. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 613-628. Little, T. D., Cunningham, W. A., Shahar, G., & Patall, E. A. (2002). To parcel or not to parcel: Exploring the question, weighting the merits. Structural Equation Modeling, 8, 151-173. Muis, K. R. & Franco, G. M. (2008). Epistemic beliefs: Setting the standards for selfregulated learning. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 34, 306-318. Pekrun, R. (2006). The control-value theory of achievement emotions: Assumptions, corollaries, and implications for educational research and practice. Educational Psychology Review, 18, 315-341. Pekrun, R., Elliot, A. J., & Maier, M. A. (2009). Achievement goals and achievement emotions: Testing a model of their joint relations with academic performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101, 115-135. Discussion Many of the hypothesized paths were consistent with prior empirical work (for example Daniels et al., 2009; Pekrun et al., 2009) and overall the results provide support for the control-value theory. Mastery-approach goals positively predicted a variety of adaptive outcomes, such as enjoyment and elaboration, and negatively predicted boredom. Evidently, a mastery-approach goal, paired with prior success, set the scene for an encouraging subsequent semester. Pekrun, R., Goetz, T., Frenzel, A. C., Barchfeld, P., & Perry, R. P. (2011). Measuring emotions in students’ learning and performance: The achievement emotions questionnaire (AEQ). Contemporary Educational Psychology, 36, 36-48. Pekrun, R., Goetz, T., Daniels, L. M., Stupnisky, R. H., & Perry, R. P. (2010). Boredom in achievement settings: Exploring control-value antecedents and performance outcomes of a neglected emotion. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102, 531-549. Perry, R. P., Hladkyj, S., Pekrun, R., & Pelletier, S. (2001). Academic control and action control in the achievement of college students: A longitudinal field study. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93, 776-789. Pintrich, P. R., Smith, D., Garcia, T., & McKeachie, W. (1991). A manual for the use of the motivated strategies for learning questionnaire (MSLQ). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.