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Achievement Emotions: A Control-Value Approach

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Abstract

Emotions are ubiquitous in achievement settings. Apart from test anxiety research and attributional studies, psychological research has neglected these emotions. We argue that more research on the functions, origins, and regulation of achievement emotions is needed, addressing both outcome emotions related to success and failure, such as hope, pride, anxiety, shame, and hopelessness, and activity emotions such as the enjoyment and boredom experienced in achievement settings. Using Pekrun’s (2006) control-value theory of achievement emotions as a theoretical framework, we first outline a three-dimensional (object focus × valence × activation) taxonomy of achievement emotions. We then summarize research on the individual and social origins of these emotions, arguing that control appraisals, value appraisals, achievement goals, and related contextual factors are of specific relevance for achievement emotion arousal. Next, the importance of emotions for achievement behavior and performance is addressed. In conclusion, we discuss the regulation and modification of achievement emotions and their relative universality across genders, settings, and cultures.

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