The Control-Value Theory of Achievement Emotions: Assumptions, Corollaries, and Implications for Educational Research and Practice

Abstract

This article describes the control-value theory of achievement emotions and its implications for educational research and practice. The theory provides an integrative framework for analyzing the antecedents and effects of emotions experienced in achievement and academic settings. It is based on the premise that appraisals of control and values are central to the arousal of achievement emotions, including activity-related emotions such as enjoyment, frustration, and boredom experienced at learning, as well as outcome emotions such as joy, hope, pride, anxiety, hopelessness, shame, and anger relating to success or failure. Corollaries of the theory pertain to the multiplicity and domain specificity of achievement emotions; to their more distal individual and social antecedents, their effects on engagement and achievement, and the reciprocal linkages between emotions, antecedents and effects; to the regulation and development of these emotions; and to their relative universality across genders and cultures. Implications addressed concern the conceptual integration of emotion, motivation, and cognition, and the need to advance mixed-method paradigms. In closing, implications for educational practice are discussed.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Some authors make a categorical distinction between emotion and mood implying that moods are conceptually distinct from emotions in being less intense, lasting longer, and having a less clear object focus, or no focus at all (see the discussion by Rosenberg, 1998). However, how should we deal with affective states cutting across these conceptual boundaries? For example, how should affective states be categorized that are intense and short without having a clear focus, or intense and focused, but long-lasting? In my view, intensity, duration and the specificity of object focus can be seen as dimensional rather than dichotomous characteristics. This is most obvious for intensity and duration, but it also pertains to object focus. The cognitive components of emotions representing their object focus may often be less aware in low-intensity emotional states because of lack of cognitive activation, but in most cases, they likely are present in these states as well (see also Reisenzein, 2001). By implication, moods and intense emotions can be conceptualized as parts of one and the same multi-dimensional space of emotions, rather than as distinct categories.

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Pekrun, R. The Control-Value Theory of Achievement Emotions: Assumptions, Corollaries, and Implications for Educational Research and Practice. Educ Psychol Rev 18, 315–341 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-006-9029-9

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Keywords

  • Achievement emotions
  • Academic emotions
  • Joy
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Hopelessness