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.
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