THE EFFECT OF ENJOYMENT ON LEARNING

J. Hernik, E. Jaworska

West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin (POLAND)
The purpose of the paper:
Paul Ekman, an expert in the field of emotion, has identified four primary emotions that are universally acknowledged: fear, anger, sadness and enjoyment (Emotions Revealed, 2003). All of these emotions evoke engagement, but not all of them build a state of being willing to do difficult things, and to think deeply about them, and finally develop new solutions and new knowledge. There are many works discussing the influence of emotions on learning (for example, White & Fry, 2014; or Lawson 2002), and of course some of them prove that enjoyment and happiness have a positive effect on learning, memory and social behavior. Enjoyment, understood as positive impression due to positive stimuli, or otherwise feeling of satisfaction, is an indispensable element of a balanced life. This is extremely important because being in harmony means feeling safe, feeling valued and a necessary part a group, also in case of a learning community. So, enjoyment creates a community, but it also evokes positive memories and make them stronger. Taking this assumption as a starting point we want to prove, that the way of discussing and explaining issues, problems, during lectures with students is of great importance for remembering new information. Many teachers believe that their lectures cannot be presented in a light or pleasant way because they are too serious by nature (like mathematics, statistics or accounting). We want to prove that it is not true, and in each case it is possible to select the appropriate emotional stimuli, that will arouse positive emotions, and, as a result, will allow to memorize information better. So, the main purpose of the paper is to give a proof that enjoyment positively affects the memorizing of information, taking accounting classes as an example.

Design / methodology / approach:
The methods used to achieve the aim of the paper involved:
(a) studying the literature on emotions and learning,
(b) designing and conducting an experiment on two groups of students, and examining the increase in knowledge in case of
1) standard and 2) joyful lecture. Before and after the lecture, a questionnaire measuring increase of knowledge will be used.

Main findings:
Results of the experiment show that, thanks to joyful lectures, students are not only happier, but they also remember more information, even if topics relate to purely accounting problems. Thus proved also that one of barriers to learning is rigid and serious way of teaching.

Research limitations / implications:
The feature of experiments is that they are based on original author`s idea and test small samples - all this makes the generalization of results to the whole population / to other cases/ difficult

Originality / the value of the research:
Numerous studies on emotion and their role in learning have been conducted, but few researches show clear quantitative results and discuss teaching such subjects as accounting.