Contemporary Psychology, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2011, 183-199

Original scientific paper

Positive Test Emotions – Contributions of Students Goal Orientations, Volitional Strategies and Academic Achievement

Irena  Burić - Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar
Izabela Sorić - Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar

Fulltext (croatian, pages 183-199).pdf

The role of positive test emotions is very important for a whole range of relevant outcomes in a students’ life. Considering the insufficiently explored emotional antecedents, the aim of this study was to examine the unique contribution of students’ goal orientations (mastery, performance and work avoidance goal orientation), volitional strategies in learning (a self-efficacy enhancement and stress reduction strategies, negative-based incentives), and previous academic achievement in explaining positive emotions of joy, hope, pride and relief, that are typically experienced in test situations in mathematics. The sample consisted of 365 high school students who completed the self-report questionnaire during their regular scheduled class. The results of hierarchical regression analysis generally showed that students’ mastery and performance goal orientations, use of self-efficacy enhancement and stress reduction strategies, rather than negative-based incentives in order to regulate emotions and motivation while studying mathematics, positively predicted most analyzed positive test emotions. Furthermore, a higher level of academic achievement in mathematics was a positive predictor of all test emotions. Research has shown that, in accordance with theoretical assumptions, emotions, joy, hope, pride and relief experienced in typical testing situations in mathematics, could be significantly explained by the students’ goal orientation, volitional strategies in learning and levels of previous achievement in mathematics. In addition, negative-based incentives have proven to be, in terms of emotional experience, quite a negative form of volitional control strategy.

positive test emotions, goal orientations, volitional strategies, academic achievement

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