University of Burgos (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 5054-5060
ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2020.1381
Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain
Research on emotion in education has focused on global dimensions of positive or negative emotions (Pekrun et al., 2011). Pekrun et al. (2002) and Valiente, Swanson and Eisenberg (2012) suggest that since not all emotions are likely to relate to achievement in the same way or for the same reasons, clarifying the relations between emotions and achievement will require the assessment of specific types of emotions, instead of using broad composites. Furthermore, emotions that students feel when they are learning may be different that the emotions they feel when are taking a test. Taking into account these arguments, our research aims to advance in the knowledge of the effect of emotions on education by analyzing the effect a specific positive emotion, happiness, on university students academic achievements, measured as the performance obtained by students in an evaluation test. We perform an experiment for comparing the test performance of students in a neutral control condition with those induced to feel a specific positive affect: happiness.

Participants are university students in one public university in Spain. We develop our study in two phases. In the first phase we conducted a pretest to check the validity of our emotion induction procedure. Specifically, as emotion to induce happiness we exposed students to a five minute song. The use of music to induce emotions is an established method in research to analyze the effects of emotional states on individuals’ decision making (Koelsch and Skouras, 2014; Martin and Metha, 1997; Scherer and Zentner, 2001; Vastfjall, 2002; Zentner, Grandjean and Scherer, 2008). Eight students listened to the song “Don`t stop me know” (Jolif, 2006). To check the effect of the songs on the induction of happiness we used the helmet, Emotiv Insight, which measures the brain waves of the subjects and, the software Emotiv BrainVIZ. Emotiv works through an algorithm that calculates emotions from the measured waves. The measurement of the brain waves to the eight students before and after listening to the songs showed that their levels of happiness were higher after the manipulation.

The second phase of the study analyzes the effect of happiness on the performance obtained in an evaluation test. All the students participating in this second stage are attending the same subject in the Degree of Business Administration. In this second phase, half of the students are induced with the positive emotion (happiness) by listening to the song before the evaluation test. The other half are the control group. Both the induced and control group perform the test in the same room and at the same time. Results of this second phase of the study are currently being analyzed and will be presented in the full manuscript and in the conference.
Positive emotions, happiness, music, academic achievement.