Emotion and Complex Tasks: Writing Abilities in Young Graders

  • Michaël FartoukhEmail author
  • Lucile Chanquoy
  • Annie Piolat
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 19)


Writing processes depend on the development and the capacity of working memory. Their execution is highly costly in cognitive resources. During writing, emotions are potentially present. According to Ellis and Ashbrook’s (1988) model, emotions are expected to cause interferences in working memory by creating extra cognitive load. Our main hypothesis was that emotions should be compared to a secondary task, overloading working memory capacities. Two experiments using emotional induction procedures were carried out on two different writing tasks (text production and dictation) with young graders. Results showed that emotional content interfered as cognitive overload within the limited working memory resources and had an impact on orthographic abilities. In terms of computational intelligence, as emotions seem to have an impact on the availability of cognitive resources, this could lead to important theoretical and practical implications for the elaboration of interactive scenarios or modeling learning and processing procedures.


Emotion cognition working memory writing processes 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Balas, R., Sweklej, J., Pochwatko, G., Godlewska, M.: On the Influence of Affective States on Intuitive Coherence Judgements. Cognition and Emotion 26(2), 312–320 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bartlett, J.C., Santrock, J.W.: Affect-Dependent Episodic Memory in Young Children. Child Development 50, 513–518 (1979)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Berninger, V.W., Swanson, H.L.: Modification of the Hayes and Flower Model to Explain Beginning and Developing Writing. In: Butterfield, E. (ed.) Advances in Cognition and Educational Practice, Children’s Writing: Toward a Process Theory of Development of Skilled Writing, vol. 2, pp. 57–82. JAI Press, Greenwich (1994)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bodenhausen, G.V., Kramer, G.P., Süsser, K.: Happiness and Stereo-Typic Thinking in Social Judgment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 66, 621–632 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bower, G.H.: Mood and Memory. American Psychologist 36(2), 129–148 (1981)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bryan, T., Bryan, J.: Positive Mood and Math Performance. Journal of Learning Disabilities 24, 490–493 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Burkitt, E., Barnett, N.: The Effects of Brief and Elaborate Mood Induction Procedures on the Size of Young Children’s Drawings. Educational Psychology 26(1), 93–108 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chaiken, S.: Heuristic Versus Systematic Information and the Use of Source Versus Message Cues in Persuasion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 39, 752–766 (1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chanquoy, L., Alamargot, D.: Mise en Place et Développement des Traitements Rédactionnels: le Rôle de la Mémoire de Travail. Le Langage et l’Homme 38(2), 171–190 (2003)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chenoweth, N.A., Hayes, J.R.: The Inner Voice in Writing. Written Communication 20, 99–118 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Clore, G.L., Schwarz, N., Conway, M.: Affective Causes and Consequences of Social Information Processing. In: Wyer, R.S., Srull, T.K. (eds.) Handbook of Social Cognition, vol. 1, pp. 323–417. Erlbaum, Hillsdale (1994)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cuisinier, F., Sanguin-Bruckert, C., Bruckert, J.P., Clavel, C.: Les Émotions Affectent-elles les Performances Orthographiques en Dictées? L’Année Psychologique 110(1), 3–48 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Derakshan, N., Eysenck, N.W.: Working Memory Capacity in High Trait-Anxious and Repressor Groups. Cognition and Emotion 12(5), 697–713 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ellis, H.C., Ashbrook, P.W.: Resource Allocation Model of the Effects of Depressed Mood States on Memory. In: Fiedler, K., Forgas, J.P. (eds.) Affect, Cognition and Social Behaviour, pp. 25–44. Hogrefe, Göttingen (1988)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ellis, H.C., Moore, B.A.: Mood and Memory. In: Dalgleish, T., Power, M.J. (eds.) Handbook of Cognition and Emotion, pp. 193–210. Wiley, Chichester (1999)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Eysenck, M.W., Derakshan, N., Santos, R., Calvo, M.G.: Anxiety and Cognitive Performance: Attentional Control Theory. Emotion 7, 336–353 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gotoh, F.: Influence of Affective Valence on Working Memory Processes. International Journal of Psychology 43(1), 59–71 (2008)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hayes, J.R.: A New Framework for Understanding Cognition and Affect in Writing. In: Levy, M.C., Ransdell, S. (eds.) The Science of Writing, pp. 1–28. Lawrence Elbaum, Mahwah (1996)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Isen, A.M., Daubman, K.A., Nowicki, G.P.: Positive Affect Facilitates Creative Problem Solving. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52(6), 1122–1131 (1987)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Isen, A.M., Labroo, A.A.: Some Ways in Which Positive Affect Facilitates Decision Making and Judgement. In: Schneider, S.L., Shanteau, J. (eds.) Emerging Perspectives on Judgement and Decision Research, pp. 365–393. Cambridge University Press, New York (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Isen, A.M., Rosenzweig, A.S., Young, J.M.: The Influence of Positive Affect on Clinical Problem Solving. Medical Decision Making 11, 221–227 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Khomsi, A.: Évaluation des Compétences Scolaires: Cycle des Approfondissements. ECPA, Paris (1998)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Masters, J.C., Barden, R.C., Ford, M.E.: Affective States, Expressive Behavior, and Learning in Children. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 37(3), 380–390 (1979)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Martin, E.A., Kerns, J.G.: The Influence of Positive Mood on Different Aspects of Cognitive Control. Cognition and Emotion 25(2), 265–279 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Oaksford, M., Morris, F., Grainger, B., Williams, J.M.G.: Mood, Reasoning, and Central Executive Processes. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition 22(2), 476–492 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Phillips, L.H., Smith, L., Gilhooly, K.J.: The Effects of Adult Aging and Induced Positive and Negative Mood on Planning. Emotion 2(3), 263–272 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Rader, N., Hughes, E.: The Influence of Affective State on the Performance of a Block Design Task in 6- and 7-Year-Old Children. Cognition & Emotion 19(1), 143–150 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Spies, K., Hesse, F.W., Hummitzsch, C.: Mood and Capacity in Baddeley’s Model of Human Memory. Zeitschrift für Psychologie 204, 367–381 (1996)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Teasdale, J.D., Dritschel, B.H., Taylor, M.J., Proctor, L., Lloyd, C., Nimmo-Smith, I., Baddeley, A.D.: Stimulus-Independent Thought Depends on Central Executive Resources. Memory and Cognition 23, 551–559 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Weary, G., Jacobsen, J.A.: Causal Uncertainty Beliefs and Diagnostic Information Seeking. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 98, 150–153 (1997)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Wechsler, D.: Échelle d’Intelligence de Wechsler pour Enfants et Adolescents – Quatrième Édition. ECPA, Paris (2005)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michaël Fartoukh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lucile Chanquoy
    • 1
  • Annie Piolat
    • 2
  1. 1.BCLUniversity of NiceSophia-AntipolisFrance
  2. 2.PSYCLÉ, University of Aix-MarseilleMarseilleFrance

Personalised recommendations