Skip to main content
Log in

Activity Achievement Emotions and Academic Performance: A Meta-analysis

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Published:
Educational Psychology Review Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Achievement emotions are emotions linked to academic, work, or sports achievement activities (activity emotions) and their success and failure outcomes (outcome emotions). Recent evidence suggests that achievement emotions are linked to motivational, self-regulatory, and cognitive processes that are crucial for academic success. Despite the importance of these emotions, syntheses of empirical findings investigating their relation with student achievement are scarce. We broadly review the literature on achievement emotions with a focus on activity-related emotions including enjoyment, anger, frustration, and boredom, and their links to educational outcomes with two specific aims: to aggregate all studies and determine how strongly related those emotions are to academic performance, and to examine moderators of those effects. A meta-analytical review was conducted using a systematic database of 68 studies. The 68 studies included 57 independent samples for enjoyment (N = 31,868), 25 for anger (N = 11,153), 9 for frustration (N = 1418), and 66 for boredom (N = 28,410). Results indicated a positive relation between enjoyment of learning and academic performance (ρ = .27), whereas the relations were negative for both anger (ρ = − .35) and boredom (ρ = − .25). For frustration, the relation with performance was near zero (ρ = − .02). Moderator tests revealed that relations of activity emotions with academic performance are stronger when (a) students are in secondary school compared with both primary school and college, and (b) the emotions are measured by the Achievement Emotions Questionnaires – Mathematics (AEQ-M). Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Similar content being viewed by others


*Studies included in the meta-analysis are denoted by an asterisk.

  • ACARA. (2018). National Assessment Program - Literay and Numeracy (NAPLAN). 2018: Technical report. Accessed Sept 2019.

  • Aguinis, H., Gottfredson, R. K., & Wright, T. A. (2011). Best-practice recommendations for estimating interaction effects using meta-analysis. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 32(8), 1033–1043.

  • *Ahmed, W., Minnaert, A., van der Werf, G., & Kuyper, H. (2010). Perceived social support and early adolescents’ achievement: the mediational roles of motivational beliefs and emotions. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39(1), 36–46.

  • *Ahmed, W., Van der Werf, G., Kuyper, H., & Minnaert, A. (2013). Emotions, self-regulated learning, and achievement in mathematics: a growth curve analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(1), 150–161.

  • Aldao, A., Sheppes, G., & Gross, J. J. (2015). Emotion regulation flexibility. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 39(3), 263–278.

  • *Artino, A. R., La Rochelle, J. S., & Durning, S. J. (2010). Second-year medical students’ motivational beliefs, emotions, and achievement. Medical Education, 44(12), 1203–1212.

  • Ashby, F. G., & Isen, A. M. (1999). A neuropsychological theory of positive affect and its influence on cognition. Psychological Review, 106(3), 529–550.

  • *Baek, Y., & Touati, A. (2017). Exploring how individual traits influence enjoyment in a mobile learning game. Computers in Human Behavior, 69, 347–357.

  • *Bailey, M., Taasoobshirazi, G., & Carr, M. (2014). A multivariate model of achievement in geometry. The Journal of Educational Research, 107(6), 440–461.

  • *Beck, G. L. (2011). Investigation of the relationship between achievement emotions and academic performance in medical students [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Capella University, Minneapolis.

  • *Behrens, C. C., Dolmans, D. H., Gormley, G. J., & Driessen, E. W. (2019). Exploring undergraduate students achievement emotions during ward round simulation: a mixed-method study. BMC Medical Education, 19(1), 1–7.

  • Bench, S. W., & Lench, H. C. (2013). On the function of boredom. Behavioral Science, 3(3), 459–472.

  • Bieg, M., Goetz, T., & Hubbard, K. (2013). Can I master it and does it matter? An intraindividual analysis on control–value antecedents of trait and state academic emotions. Learning and Individual Differences, 28, 102–108.

  • *Boekaerts, M. (1994). Anger in relation to school learning. Learning and Instruction, 3(4), 269–280.

  • Borenstein, M., Hedges, L. V., Higgins, J. P., & Rothstein, H. R. (2009). Introduction to meta-analysis. UK: John Wiley & Sons.

  • *Bowe, M. L. S. (2012). Achievement emotions as predictors of high school science success among African-American and European American students [Doctoral dissertation, Walden University]. Accessed Sept 2019.

  • Buff, A. (2014). Enjoyment of learning and its personal antecedents: testing the change–change assumption of the control-value theory of achievement emotions. Learning and Individual Differences, 31, 21–29.

  • *Butz, N. T., Stupnisky, R. H., Pekrun, R., Jensen, J. L., & Harsell, D. M. (2016). The impact of emotions on student achievement in synchronous hybrid business and public administration programs: a longitudinal test of control-value theory. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, 14(4), 441–474.

  • Calvo, R., & D'Mello, S. (2010). Affect detection: an interdisciplinary review of models, methods, and their applications. IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, 1(1), 18–37.

  • Calvo, R., D'Mello, S., Gratch, J., & Kappas, A. (Eds.). (2015). The Oxford handbook of affective computing. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

  • *Camacho-Morles, J., Slemp, G. R., Oades, L. G., Morrish, L., & Scoular, C. (2019a). The role of achievement emotions in the collaborative problem-solving performance of adolescents. Learning and Individual Differences, 70, 169–181.

  • Camacho-Morles, J., Slemp, G. R., Oades, L. G., Pekrun, R., & Morrish, L. (2019b). Relative incidence and origins of achievement emotions in computer-based collaborative problem-solving: a control-value approach. Computers in Human Behavior, 98, 41–49.

  • Carver, C. (2003). Pleasure as a sign you can attend to something else: placing positive feelings within a general model of affect. Cognition and Emotion, 17(2), 241–261.

  • Carver, C., & Scheier, M. (1999). Themes and issues in the self-regulation of behavior. Advances in Social Cognition, 12(1), 1.

  • Carver, C. & Scheier, M. (2001). On the Self-regulation of behavior. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

  • *Chevrier, M., Muis, K. R., Trevors, G. J., Pekrun, R., & Sinatra, G. M. (2019). Exploring the antecedents and consequences of epistemic emotions. Learning and Instruction, 63, 101209.

  • *Cho, M. H., & Heron, M. L. (2015). Self-regulated learning: the role of motivation, emotion, and use of learning strategies in students’ learning experiences in a self-paced online mathematics course. Distance Education, 36(1), 80–99.

  • Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.

  • *Cowan, M. M., & Piepgrass, K. W. (1997). Attitudes about science among non-majors at a two-year campus of a liberal arts university [Miami University]. Accessed Sept 2019.

  • *Craig, S., Graesser, A., Sullins, J., & Gholson, B. (2004). Affect and learning: an exploratory look into the role of affect in learning with AutoTutor. Journal of Educational Media, 29(3), 241–250.

  • D’Mello, S., Lehman, B., & Person, N. (2010). Monitoring affect states during effortful problem solving activities. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education (IOS Press), 20(4), 361–389.

  • D’Mello, S., Lehman, B., Pekrun, R., & Graesser, A. (2014). Confusion can be beneficial for learning. Learning and Instruction, 29, 153–170.

  • Dahlke, J. A., & Wiernik, B. M. (2018). Psychmeta: an R package for psychometric meta-analysis. Applied Psychological Measurement, 43(5), 415–416.

  • *Daniels, L. M. (2009). Goals and control: exploring relationships between two types of motivational constructs and their effects on university students’ emotions and achievement [Doctoral dissertation, University of Manitoba]. Accessed Sept 2019.

  • *Daniels, L. M., Haynes, T. L., Stupnisky, R. H., Perry, R. P., Newall, N. E., & Pekrun, R. (2008). Individual differences in achievement goals: a longitudinal study of cognitive, emotional, and achievement outcomes. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 33(4), 584–608.

  • *Daniels, L. M., Stupnisky, R. H., Pekrun, R., Haynes, T. L., Perry, R. P., & Newall, N. E. (2009). A longitudinal analysis of achievement goals: from affective antecedents to emotional effects and achievement outcomes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101(4), 948, 963.

  • Darban, M., & Polites, G. L. (2016). Do emotions matter in technology training? Exploring their effects on individual perceptions and willingness to learn. Computers in Human Behavior, 62, 644–657.

  • *Di Leo, I., Muis, K. R., Singh, C. A., & Psaradellis, C. (2019). Curiosity… confusion? Frustration! The role and sequencing of emotions during mathematics problem solving. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 58, 121–137.

  • Ekman, P., Friesen, W. V., & Ancoli, S. (2001). Facial signs of emotional experience. In W. G. Parrott (Ed.), Emotions in social psychology: essential readings (pp. 255–264). New York: Psychology Press.

  • Eccles, J. S., & Wigfield, A. (1995). In the mind of the actor: The structure of adolescents’ achievement task values and expectancy-related beliefs. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21(3), 215–225.

  • Ellis, H. C., Seibert, P. S., & Varner, L. J. (1995). Emotion and memory: Effects of mood states on immediate and unexpected delayed recall. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 10(2), 349.

  • *Eren, A., & Coskun, H. (2016). Students’ level of boredom, boredom coping strategies, epistemic curiosity, and graded performance. The Journal of Educational Research, 109(6), 574–588.

  • Fang, X., Chan, S., Brzezinski, J., & Nair, C. (2010). Development of an instrument to measure enjoyment of computer game play. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, 26(9), 868–886.

  • Field, A. P. (2003). The problems in using fixed-effects models of meta-analysis on real-world data. Understanding Statistics: Statistical Issues in Psychology, Education, and the Social Sciences, 2(2), 105–124.

  • Fredrickson, B. L., & Joiner, T. (2002). Positive emotions trigger upward spirals toward emotional well-being. Psychological Science (0956–7976), 13(2), 172.

  • Frenzel, A., Goetz, T., Ludtke, O., Pekrun, R., & Sutton, R. (2009, Aug). Emotional transmission in the classroom: exploring the relationship between teacher and student enjoyment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101(3), 705–716.

  • Frenzel, A., Pekrun, R., Goetz, T., Daniels, L. M., Durksen, T. L., Becker-Kurz, B., & Klassen, R. M. (2016, Jul). Measuring teachers’ enjoyment, anger, and anxiety: the Teacher Emotions Scales (TES). Contemporary Educational Psychology, 46, 148–163.

  • Frenzel, A. C., Becker-Kurz, B., Pekrun, R., Goetz, T., & Lüdtke, O. (2018). Emotion transmission in the classroom revisited: a reciprocal effects model of teacher and student enjoyment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 110(5), 628–639.

  • *Fritea, I., & Fritea, R. (2013). Can motivational regulation counteract the effects of boredom on academic achievement?. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 78, 135–139.

  • *Ganotice Jr, F. A., Datu, J. A. D., & King, R. B. (2016). Which emotional profiles exhibit the best learning outcomes? A person-centered analysis of students’ academic emotions. School Psychology International, 37(5), 498–518.

  • *Gibbons, R. E., Xu, X., Villafañe, S. M., & Raker, J. R. (2018). Testing a reciprocal causation model between anxiety, enjoyment and academic performance in postsecondary organic chemistry. Educational Psychology, 38(6), 838–856.

  • Gignac, G. E., & Szodorai, E. T. (2016). Effect size guidelines for individual differences researchers. Personality and Individual Differences, 102, 74–78.

  • Gläser-Zikuda, M., Fuß, S., Laukenmann, M., Metz, K., & Randler, C. (2005). Promoting students’ emotions and achievement – conception and evaluation of the ECOLE approach. Learning and Instruction, 15(5), 481–495.

  • Goetz, T., Frenzel, A. C., Pekrun, R., & Hall, N. C. (2006). The domain specificity of academic emotional experiences. The Journal of Experimental Education, 75(1), 5–29.

  • Goetz, T., & Hall, N. (2013). Emotion and achievement in the classroom. In J. Hattie et al. (Eds.), International guide to student achievement (pp. 192–195). London: Routledge.

  • *Goetz, T., Cronjäger, H., Frenzel, A. C., Lüdtke, O., & Hall, N. C. (2010). Academic self-concept and emotion relations: Domain specificity and age effects. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 35(1), 44–58.

  • *Goetz, T., Nett, U. E., Martiny, S. E., Hall, N. C., Pekrun, R., Dettmers, S., & Trautwein, U. (2012). Students’ emotions during homework: structures, self-concept antecedents, and achievement outcomes. Learning and Individual Differences, 22(2), 225–234.

  • *Graesser, A., D’Mello, S., Chipman, P., King, B., & McDANIEL, B. (2007). Exploring relationships between affect and learning with AutoTutor. In Proceedings International Conference AIED.

  • Griffin, P., & Care, E. (Eds.). (2014). Assessment and teaching of 21st century skills: methods and approach. New York: Springer.

  • Gross, J. J., & Thompson, R. A. (2007). Emotion regulation: conceptual foundations. New York: Guilford Press.

  • Haager, J. S., Kuhbandner, C., & Pekrun, R. (2018). To be bored or not to be bored – how task-related boredom influences creative performance. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 4, 297–304.

  • *Hall, N. C. (2006). Optimizing primary and secondary control in achievement settings: an examination of Rothbaum et al.’s (1982) congruence hypothesis [Doctoral dissertation, University of Manitoba].

  • Harley, J. M., Pekrun, R., Taxer, J. L., & Gross, J. J. (2019). Emotion regulation in achievement situations: an integrated model. Educational Psychologist, 54(2), 106–126.

  • Hembree, R. (1988). Correlates, causes, effects, and treatment of test anxiety. Review of Educational Research, 58(1), 47–77.

  • Higgins, J. P., Thompson, S. G., Deeks, J. J., & Altman, D. G. (2003). Measuring inconsistency in meta-analyses. BMJ [British Medical Journal], 327(7414), 557–560.

  • *Huang, S. Y., & Yeh, L. L. (2019). The association among literacy proficiency, effortful control, and frustration. The Journal of Educational Research, 112(2), 168–178.

  • Hunter, J. E., & Schmidt, F. L. (2000). Fixed effects vs. random effects meta-analysis models: implications for cumulative research knowledge in psychology. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 8(4), 275–292.

  • Jarvenoja, H., & Jarvela, S. (2005). How students describe the sources of their emotional and motivational experiences during the learning process: a qualitative approach. Learning and Instruction, 15(5), 465–480.

  • John, O. P., & Gross, J. J. (2004). Healthy and unhealthy emotion regulation: personality processes, individual differences, and life span development. Journal of Personality, 72(6), 1301–1334.

  • Kepes, S., Banks, G. C., McDaniel, M., & Whetzel, D. L. (2012). Publication bias in the organizational sciences. Organizational Research Methods, 15(4), 624–662.

  • Kim, C., & Hodges, C. (2012). Effects of an emotion control treatment on academic emotions, motivation and achievement in an online mathematics course. Instructional Science, 40(1), 173–192.

  • *Kim, C., Park, S. W., & Cozart, J. (2014). Affective and motivational factors of learning in online mathematics courses. British Journal of Educational Technology, 45(1), 171–185.

  • *Kirwan, S. (2018). Relationships between achievement emotions and academic performance in nursing students: a non-experimental predictive correlation analysis [Doctoral dissertation, Liberty University]. Accessed Sept 2019.

  • Kisamore, J. L., & Brannick, M. T. (2008). An illustration of the consequences of meta-analysis model choice. Organizational Research Methods, 11(1), 35–53.

  • Kuncel, N. R., Credé, M., & Thomas, L. L. (2005). The validity of self-reported grade point averages, class ranks, and test scores: A meta-analysis and review of the literature. Review of Educational Research, 75(1), 63–82.

  • *Laukenmann, M., Bleicher, M., Fuß, S., Gläser-Zikuda, M., Mayring, P., & von Rhöneck, C. (2003). An investigation of the influence of emotional factors on learning in physics instruction. International Journal of Science Education, 25(4), 489–507.

  • *Lichtenfeld, S., Pekrun, R., Stupnisky, R. H., Reiss, K., & Murayama, K. (2012). Measuring students’ emotions in the early years: the Achievement Emotions Questionnaire-Elementary School (AEQ-ES). Learning and Individual Differences, 22(2), 190–201.

  • Linnenbrink-Garcia, L., Patall, E. A., & Pekrun, R. (2016). Adaptive motivation and emotion in education: research and principles for instructional design. Policy Insights From the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3(2), 228–236.

  • Loderer, K., Pekrun, R., & Lester, J. C. (2020). Beyond cold technology: a systematic review and meta-analysis on emotions in technology-based learning environments. Learning and Instruction, 70, 101162.

  • Lumby, J. (2011). Enjoyment and learning: policy and secondary school learners’ experience in England. British Educational Research Journal, 37(2), 247–264.

  • *Luo, W., Lee, K., Ng, P. T., & Ong, J. X. W. (2014). Incremental beliefs of ability, achievement emotions and learning of Singapore students. Educational Psychology, 34(5), 619–634.

  • Maes, S., Van Elderen, T., Van der Ploeg, H., & Spielberger, C.D. (1987). De woede-expressie en controlelijst [The anger-expression control scale]. Leiden, The Netherlands: Swets & Zeitlinger.

  • Mann, S., & Cadman, R. (2014). Does being bored make us more creative? Creativity Research Journal, 26(2), 165–173.

  • *Maroldo, G. K. (1986). Shyness, boredom, and grade point average among college students. Psychological Reports, 59(2), 395–398.

  • Marsh, H. W. (1992). Self description questionnaire I: SDQ I. A theoretical and empirical basis for the measurement of multiple dimensions of preadolescent self-concept. An interim test manual and research monograph. Macarthur, NSW, Australia: University of Western Sydney.

  • *McGeown, S. P., Johnston, R. S., Walker, J., Howatson, K., Stockburn, A., & Dufton, P. (2015). The relationship between young children’s enjoyment of learning to read, reading attitudes, confidence and attainment. Educational Research, 57(4), 389–402.

  • McGraw, K. O., & Wong, S. P. (1996). Forming inferences about some intraclass correlation coefficients. Psychological Methods, 1(1), 30–46.

  • Meinhardt, J., & Pekrun, R. (2003). Attentional resource allocation to emotional events: an ERP study. Cognition & Emotion, 17(3), 477–500.

  • Morrish, L., Rickard, N., Chin, T. C., & Vella-Brodrick, D. A. (2017). Emotion regulation in adolescent well-being and positive education. Journal of Happiness Studies, 19(5), 1543–1564.

  • *Muis, K. R., Pekrun, R., Sinatra, G. M., Azevedo, R., Trevors, G., Meier, E., & Heddy, B. C. (2015a). The curious case of climate change: testing a theoretical model of epistemic beliefs, epistemic emotions, and complex learning. Learning and Instruction, 39, 168–183.

  • *Muis, K. R., Psaradellis, C., Lajoie, S. P., Di Leo, I., & Chevrier, M. (2015b). The role of epistemic emotions in mathematics problem solving. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 42, 172–185.

  • *Muis, K. R., Ranellucci, J., Trevors, G., & Duffy, M. C. (2015c). The effects of technology-mediated immediate feedback on kindergarten students’ attitudes, emotions, engagement and learning outcomes during literacy skills development. Learning and Instruction, 38, 1–13.

  • Ng, A., & Vella-Brodrick, D. A. (2019). Towards a cross-disciplinary framework for promoting youth wellbeing. International Journal of Wellbeing, 9(4), 26–42.

  • *Niculescu, A. C., Tempelaar, D., Dailey-Hebert, A., Segers, M., & Gijselaers, W. (2015). Exploring the antecedents of learning-related emotions and their relations with achievement outcomes. Frontline Learning Research, 3(1), 1–17.

  • *Noteborn, G., Carbonell, K. B., Dailey-Hebert, A., & Gijselaers, W. (2012). The role of emotions and task significance in virtual education. The Internet and Higher Education, 15(3), 176–183.

  • *Novak, E., Daday, J., & McDaniel, K. (2018). Using a mathematical model of motivation, volition, and performance to examine students’e-text learning experiences. Educational Technology Research and Development, 66(5), 1189–1209.

  • Oades, L. G. (2018). Wellbeing literacy: the missing link in positive education. In M. A. White, G. R. Slemp, & A. S. Murray (Eds.), Future directions in well being (pp. 169–173). New York: Springer.

  • Oades, L. G., Ozturk, C., Hou, H., & Slemp, G. R. (2020). Wellbeing literacy: a language-use capability relevant to wellbeing outcomes of positive psychology interventions. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 15(5), 696–700.

  • *Obergriesser, S., & Stoeger, H. (2016). The influence of emotions and learning preferences on learning strategy use before transition into high-achiever track secondary school. High Ability Studies, 27(1), 5–38.

  • OECD. (2015). Students, computers and learning. Retrieve from

  • OECD. (2017). PISA 2015 Results (Volume III).

  • Peixoto, F., Mata, L., Monteiro, V., Sanches, C., & Pekrun, R. (2015). The achievement emotions questionnaire: Validation for pre-adolescent students. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 12(4), 472–481.

  • *Peixoto, F., Sanches, C., Mata, L., & Monteiro, V. (2017). “How do you feel about math?”: relationships between competence and value appraisals, achievement emotions and academic achievement. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 32(3), 385–405.

  • Pekrun, R. (1993). Facets of students’ academic motivation: a longitudinal expectancy-value approach. In M. Maehr & P. Pintrich (Eds.), Advances in motivation and achievement (Vol. 8, pp. 139–189). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

  • Pekrun, R. (2006). The control-value theory of achievement emotions: assumptions, corollaries, and implications for educational research and practice. Educational Psychology Review, 18(4), 315–341.

  • Pekrun, R. (2009). Global and local perspectives on human affect: Implications of the control-value theory of achievement emotions. In M. Wosnitza, S. A. Karabenick, A. Efklides, & P. Nenninger (Eds.), Contemporary motivation research: from global to local perspectives (pp. 97–115). Cambridge: Hogrefe.

  • Pekrun, R. (2018). Control-value theory: A social-cognitive approach to achievement emotions. In G. A. D. Liem & D. M. McInerney (Eds.), Big theories revisited 2: A volume of research on sociocultural influences on motivation and learning (pp. 162–190). Charlotte, NJ: Information Age Publishing.

  • Pekrun, R. (in press). Self-appraisals and emotions: A control-value approach. In T. Dicke, F. Guay, H. W. Marsh, R. G. Craven, & D. M. McInerney (Eds). Self – a multidisciplinary concept. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

  • Pekrun, R., & Stephens, E. J. (2010). Achievement emotions: a control-value approach. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 4(4), 238–255.

  • Pekrun, R., Goetz, T., Titz, W., & Perry, R. P. (2002). Academic emotions in students’ self-regulated learning and achievement: a program of qualitative and quantitative research. Educational Psychologist, 37(2), 91–105.

  • Pekrun, R., Goetz, T., & Perry, R. P. (2005). Achievement emotions questionnaire, user’s manual. Munich, Germany: Department of Psychology, University of Munich.

  • *Pekrun, R., Elliot, A. J., & Maier, M. A. (2006). Achievement goals and discrete achievement emotions: a theoretical model and prospective test. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(3), 583–597.

  • Pekrun, R., Frenzel, A. C., Goetz, T., & Perry, R. P. (2007). The control-value theory of achievement emotions: An integrative approach to emotions in education. In Emotion in education (pp. 13–36). Academic Press.

  • *Pekrun, R., Elliot, A. J., & Maier, M. A. (2009). Achievement goals and achievement emotions: testing a model of their joint relations with academic performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101(1), 115–135.

  • *Pekrun, R., Goetz, T., Daniels, L. M., Stupnisky, R. H., & Perry, R. P. (2010). Boredom in achievement settings: exploring control–value antecedents and performance outcomes of a neglected emotion. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(3), 531–549.

  • *Pekrun, R., Goetz, T., Frenzel, A. C., Barchfeld, P., & Perry, R. P. (2011). Measuring emotions in students’ learning and performance: the Achievement Emotions Questionnaire (AEQ). Contemporary Educational Psychology, 36(1), 36–48.

  • Pekrun, R. (2014). Emotions and learning (Educational Practices Series, Vol. 24). Geneva, Switzerland: International Academy of Education (IAE) and International Bureau of Education (IBE) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Geneva, Switzerland.

  • *Pekrun, R., Hall, N. C., Goetz, T., & Perry, R. P. (2014). Boredom and academic achievement: testing a model of reciprocal causation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106(3), 696–710.

  • *Pekrun, R., Lichtenfeld, S., Marsh, H. W., Murayama, K., & Goetz, T. (2017a). Achievement emotions and academic performance: longitudinal models of reciprocal effects. Child Development, 88(5), 1653–1670.

  • Pekrun, R., Vogl, E., Muis, K. R., & Sinatra, G. M. (2017b). Measuring emotions during epistemic activities: the Epistemically-Related Emotion Scales. Cognition and Emotion, 31(6), 1268–1276.

  • *Perry, R. P., Hladkyj, S., Pekrun, R. H., & Pelletier, S. T. (2001). Academic control and action control in the achievement of college students: a longitudinal field study. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(4), 776–789.

  • Peters, J. L., Sutton, A. J., Jones, D. R., Abrams, K. R., & Rushton, L. (2008). Contour-enhanced meta-analysis funnel plots help distinguish publication bias from other causes of asymmetry. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 61(10), 991–996.

  • *Pinxten, M., Marsh, H. W., De Fraine, B., Van Den Noortgate, W., & Van Damme, J. (2014). Enjoying mathematics or feeling competent in mathematics? Reciprocal effects on mathematics achievement and perceived math effort expenditure. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 84(1), 152–174.

  • *Putwain, D. W., Sander, P., & Larkin, D. (2013). Using the 2 × 2 framework of achievement goals to predict achievement emotions and academic performance. Learning and Individual Differences, 25, 80–84.

  • *Putwain, D. W., Becker, S., Symes, W., & Pekrun, R. (2018a). Reciprocal relations between students’ academic enjoyment, boredom, and achievement over time. Learning and Instruction, 54, 73–81.

  • Putwain, D. W., Pekrun, R., Nicholson, L. J., Symes, W., Becker, S., & Marsh, H. W. (2018b). Control-value appraisals, enjoyment, and boredom in mathematics: a longitudinal latent interaction analysis. American Educational Research Journal, 55(6), 1339–1368.

  • Quoidbach, J., Mikolajczak, M., & Gross, J. J. (2015). Positive interventions: an emotion regulation perspective. Psychological Bulletin, 141(3), 655–693.

  • *Raccanello, D., Brondino, M., Moè, A., Stupnisky, R., & Lichtenfeld, S. (2019). Enjoyment, boredom, anxiety in elementary schools in two domains: Relations with achievement. The Journal of Experimental Education, 87(3), 449–469.

  • *Raker, J. R., Gibbons, R. E., & Cruz-Ramírez de Arellano, D. (2019). Development and evaluation of the organic chemistry-specific achievement emotions questionnaire (AEQ-OCHEM). Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 56(2), 163–183.

  • *Randler, C. (2009). Association between emotional variables and school achievement. International Journal of Instruction, 2(2).

  • *Ranellucci, J., Hall, N. C., & Goetz, T. (2015). Achievement goals, emotions, learning, and performance: a process model. Motivation Science, 1(2), 98, 120.

  • Rennie, L. J. (1986). The influence of the social context of the classroom on the relationship between subject-related affect and achievement. Education Research and Perspectives, 13(2), 75–97.

  • *Rennie, L. J., & Punch, K. F. (1991). The relationship between affect and achievement in science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 28(2), 193–209.

  • *Respondek, L., Seufert, T., Stupnisky, R., & Nett, U. E. (2017). Perceived academic control and academic emotions predict undergraduate university student success: examining effects on dropout intention and achievement. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 243.

  • Rosenthal, R. (1993). Meta-analytic procedure for social research. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

  • Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2017). Self-determination theory: basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness. New York: Guilford Publications.

  • Sarason, I., Pierce, G., & Sarason, B. (1996). Cognitive interference: theories, methods, and findings: Erlbaum.

  • Scherer, K. R. (2005). What are emotions? And how can they be measured? Social Science Information, 44(4), 695–729.

  • Schmidt, F., & Hunter, J. (2015). Methods of meta-analysis: correcting error and bias in research findings (3rd edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

  • *Schukajlow, S., & Rakoczy, K. (2016). The power of emotions: can enjoyment and boredom explain the impact of individual preconditions and teaching methods on interest and performance in mathematics?. Learning and Instruction, 44, 117–127.

  • Seib, H. M., & Vodanovich, S. J. (1998). Cognitive correlates of boredom proneness: the role of private self-consciousness and absorption. The Journal of Psychology, 132(6), 642–652.

  • Shao, K., Pekrun, R., Marsh, H. W., & Loderer, K. (2020). Control-value appraisals, achievement emotions, and foreign language performance: a latent interaction analysis. Learning and Instruction, 69. Advance online publication, 101356.

  • Slemp, G. R., Chin, T. C., Kern, M. L., Siokou, C., Loton, D., Oades, L. G., et al. (2017). Positive Education in Australia: Practice, measurement, and future directions. In E. Frydenberg, A. J. Martin, & R. J. Collie (Eds.), Social and emotional learning in Australia and the Asia-Pacific. Singapore: Springer.

  • *Stavrova, O., & Urhahne, D. (2010). Modification of a school programme in the Deutsches Museum to enhance students’ attitudes and understanding. International Journal of Science Education, 32(17), 2291–2310.

  • *Tan, L. S., & Chun, K. Y. N. (2014). Perfectionism and academic emotions of gifted adolescent girls. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 23(3), 389–401.

  • *Tang, W. K. (2019). Resilience and self-compassion related with achievement emotions, test anxiety, intolerance of uncertainty, and academic achievement. Psychological Studies, 64(1), 92–102.

  • *Tempelaar, D. T., Niculescu, A., Rienties, B., Gijselaers, W. H., & Giesbers, B. (2012). How achievement emotions impact students’ decisions for online learning, and what precedes those emotions. The Internet and Higher Education, 15(3), 161–169.

  • Trevors, G. J., Muis, K. R., Pekrun, R., Sinatra, G. M., & Winne, P. H. (2016). Identity and epistemic emotions during knowledge revision: A potential account for the backfire effect. Discourse Processes, 53(5–6), 339–370.

  • *Tze, V. M., Daniels, L. M., Klassen, R. M., & Li, J. C. H. (2013). Canadian and Chinese university students’ approaches to coping with academic boredom. Learning and Individual Differences, 23, 32–43.

  • Tze, V. M., Daniels, L. M., & Klassen, R. M. (2016). Evaluating the relationship between boredom and academic outcomes: a meta-analysis. Educational Psychology Review, 28(1), 119–144.

  • Van Tilburg, W. A. P., & Igou, E. R. (2012). On boredom: Lack of challenge and meaning as distinct boredom experiences. Motivation and Emotion, 36(2), 181–194.

  • Vierhaus, M., Lohaus, A., & Wild, E. (2016). The development of achievement emotions and coping/emotion regulation from primary to secondary school. Learning and Instruction, 42, 12–21.

  • *Villavicencio, F. T., & Bernardo, A. B. (2013). Negative emotions moderate the relationship between self-efficacy and achievement of Filipino students. Psychological Studies, 58(3), 225–232.

  • *Villavicencio, F. T., & Bernardo, A. B. (2016). Beyond math anxiety: positive emotions predict mathematics achievement, self-regulation, and self-efficacy. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 25(3), 415–422.

  • Vogel-Walcutt, J. J., Fiorella, L., Carper, T., & Schatz, S. (2012). The definition, assessment, and mitigation of state boredom within educational settings: a comprehensive review. Educational Psychology Review, 24(1), 89–111.

  • Vogl, E., Pekrun, R., Murayama, K., & Loderer, K. (2020). Surprised–curious–confused: epistemic emotions and knowledge exploration. Emotion, 20(4), 625–641.

  • Ward, A., Stoker, H. W., & Murray-Ward, M. (1996). Educational measurement: theories and applications (Vol. 2). Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

  • Weiner, B. (1972). Attribution theory, achievement motivation, and the educational process. Review of Educational Research, 42(2), 203–215.

  • *Westphal, A., Kretschmann, J., Gronostaj, A., & Vock, M. (2018). More enjoyment, less anxiety and boredom: How achievement emotions relate to academic self-concept and teachers’ diagnostic skills. Learning and Individual Differences, 62, 108–117.

  • Wosnitza, M., & Volet, S. (2005). Origin, direction and impact of emotions in social online learning. Learning and Instruction, 15(5), 449–464.

  • Zhang, J., Zhao, N., & Kong, Q. P. (2019). The relationship between math anxiety and math performance: a meta-analytic investigation. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 17.

Download references

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


This work was financially supported by the Science of Learning Research Centre under Grant number 19636 and the Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship (ID 666493).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jesús Camacho-Morles.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


Appendix 1.Coding sheet

figure afigure a

Appendix 2. Interrater agreement statistics










r xx



r yy






Subject domain



Education level



Performance measure



Function of test



Emotion measure



Nationality of participants



Temporal specificity of emotions



Type of learning settings



Publication status



  1. r effect size, N study sample size, rxx reliability of the achievement emotion variable, ryy reliability of the performance criterion variable

Appendix 3. Reliability distribution descriptive statistics for the relations between activity achievement emotions and academic achievement


Reliability coefficients for activity achievement emotions

Reliability coefficients for performance













































  1. Note: NR = Number of reliability coefficients reported; NE = Number of reliability coefficients estimated; M = Mean; SD = Standard Deviation

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Camacho-Morles, J., Slemp, G.R., Pekrun, R. et al. Activity Achievement Emotions and Academic Performance: A Meta-analysis. Educ Psychol Rev 33, 1051–1095 (2021).

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: