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Affective Factors in Learning, Instruction, and Technology

Affect is a term that refers to the emotional side of an individual’s reactions or responses to an occurrence. The concept of affect was proposed by Silvan Tomkins, a psychologist in the 19th century. In Tomkins’s theory, there are nine affects that represent positive, neutral, or negative affects: (a) positive: interest-excitement, enjoyment-joy; (b) neutral: surprise-startle; and (c) negative: distress-anguish, anger-rage, fear-terror, shame-humiliation, disgust, and dissmell. In learning and instruction, there is research focusing on cognition and its effect on learning outcomes, but few studies have emphasized affect and other psychological factors. Cognition plays an important role in shaping a learner’s actions, thoughts, ideas, and long-term development; however, the importance of affect should not be excluded. A learner’s emotional, physical, and cognitive development are factors ...

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