Emotions and Learning... the stress us real.

Article: Recent Evidence Regarding the Role of Emotion in Learning and Memory

The impact of emotion on learning processes is the focus of many current studies. Although it is well established that emotions influence memory retention and recall, in terms of learning, the question of emotional impacts remains questionable. Some studies report that positive emotions facilitate learning and contribute to academic achievement, being mediated by the levels of self-motivation and satisfaction with learning materials (Um et al., 2012). Conversely, a recent study reported that negative learning-centered state (confusion) improve learning because of an increased focus of attention on learning material that leads to higher performances on post tests and transfer tests (D’Mello et al., 2014). Confusion is not an emotion but a cognitive disequilibrium state induced by contradictory data. A confused student might be frustrated with their poor understanding of subject matter, and this is related to both the SEEKING and RAGE systems, with a low-level of activation of rage or irritation, and amplification of SEEKING. Hence, motivated students who respond to their confusion seek new understanding by doing additional cognitive work. Further clarification of this enhances learning. Moreover, stress, a negative emotional state, has also been reported to facilitate and/or impair both learning and memory, depending on intensity and duration (Vogel and Schwabe, 2016). More specifically, mild and acute stress facilitates learning and cognitive performance, while excess and chronic stress impairs learning and is detrimental to memory performance. Many other negative consequences attend owing to overactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which results in both impaired synaptic plasticity and learning ability (Joëls et al., 2004). Nonetheless,