Emotions and learning
People often believe that positive emotions are better than negative emotions for students learning. But empirical research has provided a more complex picture, such that positive emotions cannot be always beneficial for students’ learning. Likewise, negative emotions can be sometimes beneficial for students’ achievement. When and how can negative emotions facilitate learning despite their general negative impacts? How similarly do positive and negative emotions affect learning? Answers to these questions are critical to understanding how best to facilitate students’ emotions in an educational setting. In our research, we aim to provide insights into these questions by examining the effects of emotions on each of the cognitive processes critical for students’ learning, including perception, attention, memory encoding, memory consolidation, goal setting, and problem solving. To understand the underlying mechanisms of the complex effects of emotions, we use a range of methods, including behavioral experiments, physiological assessments, computational modelling, neuroimaging and longitudinal surveys.
Sakaki, M.*, Ueno, T. *, Ponzio, A., Harley, C., & Mather, M. (2019). Emotional arousal amplifies competitions across goal-relevant representation: A neurocomputational framework. Cognition, 187, 108-125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2019.02.011 OSF Link Request PDF Article
Ohtani, K., Tamura, A., Sakaki, M. , Murayama, K., Ishikawa, S.-i., Ishii, R., Nakazato, N., Suzuki, T. & Tanaka, A. (2022) Parental perception matters: reciprocal relations between adolescents’ depressive symptoms and parental perceptions. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 70(1), 103–118. https://doi.org/10.1037/cou0000632 Request PDF Article
Sakaki, M., Gorlick, M. A., & Mather, M. (2011). Differential interference effects of negative emotional states on subsequent semantic and perceptual processing. Emotion, 11, 1263-1278. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/a0026329 OSF Link Request PDF Article
Forrest, J., Vogt, J. , McDonald, C., Searle, C. & Sakaki, M. (2022) Blind to threat: the presence of temporary goals prevents attention to imminent threat already at early stages of attention allocation. Motivation Science, 8(3), 239–251. https://doi.org/10.1037/mot0000261 OSF Link Request PDF Article
Raw, J., Rorke, A., Ellis, J., Murayama, K. & Sakaki, M. (2021). Memory of the UK's 2016 EU referendum: The effects of valence on the long-term measures of a public event. Emotion, 23(1), 52-74. https://doi.org/10.1037/emo0000788 OSF Link Request PDF Article
Sakaki, M., Meliss, S., Murayama, K., Yomogida, Y., Matsumori, K., Sugiura, A., Matsumoto, M. & Matsumoto, K. (2022). Motivated for near impossibility: How task type and reward modulate task enjoyment and the striatal activation for extremely difficult task. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience. (In Press) https://doi.org/10.3758/s13415-022-01046-4 OSF Link Request PDF Article