Creativity and positive emotions in studying: Novel possibilities for improving students’ learning

Rogaten, Jekaterina and Moneta, Giovanni B (2014). Creativity and positive emotions in studying: Novel possibilities for improving students’ learning. In: 7th European Conference of Positive Psychology, 1-4 Jul 2014, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Abstract

Research on students’ learning identified that positive affect is a strong predictor of better academic performance even when statistically controlling for effects of prior academic performance and approaches to learning (e.g., Rogaten, Moneta & Spada, 2013). A variable that has been found to strongly link with positive affect in studying is use of creative cognition, which is the habit to deploy one’s own creative ability to an endeavour (Rogaten & Moneta, in press). Based on the broaden-and-build theory (Fredrickson, 1998), the mood-as-input model (Martin et al., 1993), the control-process model (Carver & Scheier, 2001), and self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985), it was hypothesised that positive affect will be both an antecedent and a consequence of use of creative cognition in studying.

130 university students completed the International Positive and Negative Affect Schedule - Short Form (I-PANAS-SF) and the Use of Creative Cognition Scale (UCCS) with reference to their overall studying experience in the first and second semesters of an academic year.

A comparison of alternative structural equation models showed clear support for the reciprocal relationship between positive affect in studying and use of creative cognition in studying.

This is the first study that found the longitudinal relationship between use of creative cognition in studying and subsequent positive affect in studying, which opens novel possibilities for interventions. Well-designed curricula, assessments and training programs that foster the use of creative cognition in studying may increase students’ positive affect and engagement in studying and, in turn, improve their learning and academic performance.

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