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					           Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011




                    Frustration, Anxiety & Boredom
                                      (I picked a fun one)




Presentation: Cameron Betts    version 1   28 March 2011, WPI
                                                                PAGE   1
                Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011




Cameron Betts
                                                                   Frustration
                                                                            PAGE   2
                     Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011


                   Frustration – Aggression Theory
    Frustration: “a state that sets in if a goal-oriented act is delayed or thwarted”

    Dollard at al, 1939
    • Aggression is always the result of frustration
                  Aggressive behavior requires the existence of frustration
                  The existence of frustration leads to some kind of aggressive behavior

    •           The closer one is to a goal, the greater the excitement and anticipation of success
    •           Being prevented from reaching a goal causes frustration proportionate to the
                excitement, degree of interference and frequency of interference

    Barker, Dembo and Lewin (1941) showed that children’s play was more destructive
       when they were able to see the toy for a time before being allowed to play with it




Cameron Betts                                                                                         PAGE   3
                    Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011


                  Frustration – Aggression Modifications
    Only some kinds of frustration:

    1. Unreasonable Goal Interference
                 Researchers asked about hypothetical situations, and found that people would only
                  become frustrated if the block was illegitimate (Pastore) or arbitrary (Cohen)
                 Aggression is more likely if the block is socially inappropriate

    2. Unexpectedness of the Goal Interference
                 There is a problem here, as unreasonable blocks tend also to be unexpected


    1. Intentional interference
                 Aggression only ensues if the interference is perceived to be intentional
                 This emphasizes the role of social inhibitions




Cameron Betts                                                                                         PAGE   4
                    Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011


                  Frustration Experiments

    Buss, 1963 – Varying Drive Strengths
                 Students were paired with a bad partner and so prevented form betting a better grade
                 Students competing for a grade gave their partners worse punishments

    Harris, 1974 – Expectation Violations
                 Researchers cut in front of people standing in line at banks and stores
                 The closer to the front of the line, the more aggression was displayed

    Worchel et al, 1976
                 Aggressive movie watchers showed more hostility, compared to comedy watchers
                 Aggressive movies with commercials got the most hostility




Cameron Betts                                                                                            PAGE   5
                    Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011


                  Cognitive & Metacognitive Factors

    Referent Cognitions Theory (Folger)
                 Frustration is heightened if the one can imagine attaining the goal under other
                  circumstances
                 This could be because the goal was that much more expected



    Attribution of Interference
                 One is more likely to be openly aggressive if the interference is perceived as
                  purposeful
                 One is less likely to be openly aggressive if the interference is perceived as
                  socially appropriate




Cameron Betts                                                                                       PAGE   6
                 Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011


                Beyond Aggression

                                                                    Russell’s affect model might
                                                                       show frustration as a
                                                                       negative valence – high
                                                                       arousal state
                                                                    (Baker et al, 2010)




                                                                    Does Russell’s model of affect
                                                                    inform the discussion on
                                                                    frustration – aggression?




Cameron Betts                                                                                        PAGE   7
                     Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011


                            Frustration and Boredom
    •           Perkins & Hill proposed that frustration leads to boredom, and
                showed an association between them (Perkins & Hill 1985)

    •           Frustration levels are consistent across subjects, but vary by
                type of activity (Larson & Richards 1991)
                  High frustration activities do not correspond with boring activities
                                                                                          Do these situations
                      • Talking with a teacher (72%)
                                                                                          correspond goal
                      • Correcting a Test (40%)                                           interference?
                      • Discussion (36%)


    •           Baker showed that boredom was less problematic for learning
                than frustration (Baker et al 2010)
                  Frustration was defined (for participants) as dissatisfaction or
                   annoyance
                                                                                          Do these behaviors
                  Observed Frustration behaviors included banging on keyboard or         correspond to
                   mouse, pulling hair, sighing deeply, statement such as “What is
                                                                                          aggression?
                   going on?!”


Cameron Betts                                                                                            PAGE   8
                Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011




     Anxiety
Cameron Betts                                                      PAGE   9
                    Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011


                  What is Anxiety?
    “painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind usually over an impending or anticipated ill”
                                                                                                   - Merriam Webster
    Two basic types of anxiety (Alpert & Harper):
    •Facilitating Anxiety
                 Leads to task directed drives and on-task efforts (so as to get it over with)
    •Debilitating Anxiety
                 Leads to anxiety drive and off-task responses
                 Liebert & Morris break this down to:
                     • Worry – “any cognitive expression of concern about one’s own performance”
                     • Emotionality – autonomic reactions (e.g. sweating, heart racing)


    While earlier models suggested that these were mutually exclusive, Alpert & Harper
    suggested that they may be independent

    There is also a question of Trait versus State


Cameron Betts                                                                                                   PAGE   10
                     Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011


                   Why does Anxiety reduce performance?


    •           Liebert & Morris: Anxiety divides attention between the task and worry

    Interference Model

                  Test anxiety interferes with the recall of prior learning

    Deficit Model

                  Questions the Interference model because techniques that reduced test anxiety did not
                   improve test scores

                  Anxiety is caused by one’s awareness of under-preparation


                                                                       Think about anxiety dreams
                                                                       and their relationship to preparedness

Cameron Betts                                                                                              PAGE   11
                 Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011


                Hembree: Test Anxiety

    Review of 562 studies on academic test
       anxiety, looking at:
        Test Anxiety & Self Esteem, gender
         differences, performance, treatments
        Is test anxiety cognitive or behavioral?
        Is there a relationship between
         facilitating and debilitating anxiety?
        Does test anxiety cause poor
         performance, or does anticipation of
         poor performance cause test anxiety?




Cameron Betts                                                       PAGE   12
                 Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011

                Hembree:
                Results – High vs Low ability




                               Low ability students experience more debilitating
                                            test anxiety than high ability students




Cameron Betts                                                                         PAGE   13
                 Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011

                Hembree:
                Results - Ethnicity




                                            Ethnicity differences in Debilitating Test
                                             Anxiety diminish in higher grade levels




Cameron Betts                                                                            PAGE   14
                 Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011

                Hembree:
                Results - Gender

                                                                    Females consistently show
                                                                    more debilitating Test Anxiety…



                                                                    …however this does not
                                                                    translate into a performance
                                                                    difference




Cameron Betts                                                                                      PAGE   15
                     Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011

                   Hembree:
                   Conclusions
    •           Inference model was more compelling than the Deficit model
                  Behavioral and Cognitive-behavioral treatments worked where study-skill training failed


    •           Behavioral treatments for test anxiety were more effective, and reduced both
                Emotionality and Worry. Hembree concludes that test anxiety is behavioral:


                                     Emotionality -> Worry
                                           (Behavioral)                  (Cognitive)


    •           Debilitating Anxiety and Facilitating Anxiety are independent and can be
                experienced simultaneously
                  However treatments for debilitating anxiety also seem to increase facilitating anxiety




Cameron Betts                                                                                                PAGE   16
                Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011




     Boredom
Cameron Betts                                                      PAGE   17
                Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011


    What is Boredom?
    A context in which skills are above average and challenges are below average
                                                                   - Stein, Kimiecik, Daniels, and Jackson (1995)




    Boredom derives from one’s inability to regulate attention in a directed, focused manner
                                                                                                  - Fisher (1993)




    Unpleasant feelings, lack of stimulation, and low physiological arousal
                                                                                                  - Harris (2000)




                                                                             Boredom:
                                                                             Trait or State?



Cameron Betts                                                                                               PAGE   18
                   Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011


                What makes us Bored?
    When others are:                      At work, when there is:            How do we handle it?
            Passive                          Nothing to do                    Day Dreaming
            Tedious                          Only simple,                     Motor restlessness
                                               undemanding tasks
            Distracting                                                        Exploration
                                              Excessively difficult tasks
            Exhibiting low affectivity                                         Response variability
                                              The absence of coworkers
            Exhibiting boring                                                  Withdrawal from the
             ingratiation                     Organizational constraints        boring situation
            Serious
            Negatively egocentric
            Self-preoccupied
            Banal

    Leary et al.                          Fisher                             Smith




Cameron Betts                                                                                           PAGE   19
                     Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011


                   Cognitive and Meta-cognitive factors
    •           Attention
                  Individuals with high or low distraction levels are less bored (Laird)
                  Boredom implies a difficulty in focusing attention (Fisher)
    •           Time perception
                  Boredom leads to a perception that time is moving more slowly (Watt)


    •           Mood-Monitoring
                  Scrutinizing and directing attention towards one’s mood
                  May reduce one’s ability to focus attention on external matters (Swinkels & Giuliano)
    •           Mood-Labeling
                  Identifying and categorizing one’s mood
                  Correlated with positive affect (Swinkels & Giuliano)
                  “Enables one to concentrate on the situation at hand, without attention focused on
                   oneself or being distracted by mood” (Harris)




Cameron Betts                                                                                              PAGE   20
                     Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011

                   Control – Value & Boredom
                   Pekrun 2010
    Control-Value Theory speaks to boredom in several ways:

    •           High Control can lead to boredom
                  An individual’s capacities are high compared to task demands (Csikszentmihayli)


    •           Low Control can lead to boredom
                  Demands exceed one’s abilities (Acee, 2010)

    •           Perceived Value is low
                  Specifically if the task is thought to have a low intrinsic value



                                                                                       Would goal-orientation
                                                                                       predict boredom in
                                                                                       learning?



Cameron Betts                                                                                                   PAGE   21
                     Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011


                  Boredom vs. Neutrality
     •          Boredom is not the same as lack of interest
                  Lack of interest implies neither a wish to engage in in an activity nor avoid it (lack of
                   approach)
                  Boredom leads to desire to escape the situation (avoidance)




                                                                             Where neutrality has no valence or
                                                                             arousal, Boredom has negative valence
                                                                             and low-arousal




Cameron Betts                                                                                                  PAGE   22
                     Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011

                   Why does Boredom affect Performance?
                   Pekrun 2010

    •           Split attention
                  Boredom reduces task-focused attention
                  Promotes task-irrelevant thinking like day-dreaming


    •           Motivation to avoid the task
                  Boredom is an aversive emotion that one wants to escape

    •           Non-strategic thinking
                  When we are bored we do not employ meta-cognitive strategies as often
                  Self-regulation is also reduced
                      • Active goal setting, strategy selection, outcome monitoring


    •           As a result, boredom has a more consistent negative impact on performance than
                other negative affects
                  There is a positive correlation between boredom proneness and anxiety


Cameron Betts                                                                                    PAGE   23
                   Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011


                 Larson & Richards (1991)
    Three models of Boredom were put to the test:
                 Under-stimulation model
                    • Psychological Model
                    • Boredom happens in situations that are repetitive, habituated and unchallenging
                    • Would indicate: more boredom in high-ability students, equal boredom in and out of school

                 Forced Effort Model
                    • Psychological Model
                    • Boredom happens in situations perceived to be homogeneous
                    • Would indicate: more boredom with challenging material and less control


                 Resistance Model
                    •   Social Construct
                    •   Boredom is an active social response to power relationships
                    •   Would indicate: boredom would be correlated with anger
                    •   Boredom may be defined by a school experience

    5th – 9th graders reported their boredom level and activity multiple time a day, as prompted by a pager.
                  • Boredom was put on a scale of Boring to Exciting

Cameron Betts                                                                                                     PAGE   24
                 Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011

                Larson & Richards:
                Where are we bored? Self-explanations results

                                                             “Math is dumb”


                 Location                      Activity is boring   Nothing to do
                 School                              36%                15%
                 Away from School                    17%                49%



                             “No one around”



Cameron Betts                                                                       PAGE   25
                 Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011

                Larson & Richards:
                What are we doing when we get bored?
                                                                    Kids get bored
                                                                    doing school work –
                                                                    All three models
                                                                    would predict this




Cameron Betts                                                                     PAGE   26
                 Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011

                Larson & Richards:
                Subject Matters
                                                                    More boredom during
                                                                    abstract academic
                                                                    subjects


                                                                         Supports
                                                                         psychological
                                                                         models

                                                                    Less boredom during
                                                                    hands-on, applied
                                                                    classes




Cameron Betts                                                                        PAGE   27
                     Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011

                   Larson & Richards:
                   Boredom as a Trait
    Larson & Richards conclude that boredom is a characteristic trait:

    •           Kids who are bored at school are also likely to be bored away from school (r=0.68)
                  But not associated SES variables
                  Consider also that the causes of boredom in school and out of school differ


    •           No correlation between boredom and disruptive behavior
                  Goes against resistance model


    But… there is also evidence that boredom is a state:

    •           High-ability students are more bored in school than at home
                  As predicted by the Under-stimulation model




Cameron Betts                                                                                        PAGE   28
Metacognition, Motivation & Affect – Spring 2011




                             Discussion




                                                   PAGE   29

				
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