Studying for the first exam period is a big challenge for freshmen students, especially because they must be able to regulate emotions emerging from this new learning situation. Indeed, it is now recognized that cognitions and emotions interact in learning and that emotion can hinder or support it. However, we argue that it is not only emotions per se but rather how students manage them in the targeted situation (i.e.their emotional regulations kills) that impacts students’ adaptation to this academic context. Using an online survey, this study explored motives in emotion regulation, emotion goals and concrete emotion regulation strategies implemented by students during the preparation of a significant course evaluation. It focuses both on “why” students engage in emotion regulation in the target situation and on “how” this regulation is implemented. A thematic content analysis, processing the data of the 235 respondents, indicates that different motivations in emotion regulation are present among students (hedonic and instrumental motivations to regulate emotions) and that these motivations can be plural among the same students. When instrumental and hedonic motivations are both reported, although the students’ discourse argues that hedonic motivation (feeling good/better) is at the service of instrumental motivation (studying the course), concrete SRE prioritize well-being, through distraction from the course, more than the study of the course (the SRE rarely supports learning). In addition, the most reported emotion regulation strategy is distraction from the course (taking a break and doing something to distract yourself from the course), even in the absence of motivational conflicts. As a result, the theoretical model of motivated regulation (Tamir, 2009 ; Tamir, 2015) applied to this learning situation offers an innovative reading of why and how university students attempt to manage their emotions in order to learn successfully. Although the current study approaches only the conscious side of emotion regulation, it provides an original perspective on this complex phenomenon without ignoring the context in which it emerges. Finally, this insight should help students, teachers and educational coaches to see emotion regulation as necessary for learning and to set up pedagogical and coaching practices that support the development of SRE, adapted to the learning situation and linked to the emotional states that students wish to experiment in order to optimize learning.
|Translated title of the contribution||Why regulating emotions in learning situations?: Motives in emotion regulation, emotion goals and emotion regulation strategies implemented by first year university students during preparation of exams|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2021|