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534 publication date:JUN, 2022
The Verification and Analysis of the Test Enjoyment Process Model of Junior High School Students
    Author:Yen-Ying Lin
Research Article

Studies have verified that academic emotions are discrete and highly related to learning motivation and achievement performance (Pekrun, 2008; Pekrun et al., 2002b). However, most investigations into academic emotions have focused on negative emotions, such as test anxiety, with fewer exploring positive emotions, such as enjoyment, pride, and hope (Pekrun et al., 2002a). Many studies in positive psychology have reported that positive emotions play a key role in human development (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). Nevertheless, research focusing on positive academic emotions remains rare. As Pekrun et al. (2002a) stated, learner with positive emotions can foresee goals and challenges, increase resilience to protect physical and mental health, increase a sense of attachment to important others. Therefore, positive academic emotions merit investigation.

    With reference to different learning situations, academic emotions can be divided into those that are class-related, learning-related, and test-related (Pekrun et al., 2002b). Test-related emotion, for example, refers to various subjective emotions related to exam taking (Pekrun et al., 2004). Because exams are events that can be anticipated and recalled, test emotions can be further divided into pretest and posttest emotions in relation to the examination process (Schutz & Decuir, 2002). Most research on test emotions has centered on test anxiety, with fewer studies examining positive test emotions. According to Pekrun et al. (2002a), enjoyment is always accompanied by adaptive learning behaviors, such as the use of in-depth learning strategies, steady and continual effort, and high-level self-regulation, which can promote learning effectiveness. This means that enjoyment is a basic and crucial positive emotion that can play a major role in students’ learning engagement in the classroom.

    In the theoretical construction of academic emotions, control-value theory (Pekrun, 2000; Pekrun et al., 2002b) explains the antecedent variables of academic emotions. Control-value theory holds that cognitive appraisals related to control and value are the main variables affecting academic emotions. Control-related cognitive appraisals refer to the influence of an individual’s personal perception on their actions and results and include action-control, action-outcome, and situation-outcome expectancy (Pekrun, 2005). This study applied self-efficacy and effort belief as control-related cognitive appraisal variables to predict the emotions experienced by students in test situations. Value-related cognitive appraisals refer to the degree to which learners subjectively value their actions and results (Pekrun et al., 2010) and include intrinsic and extrinsic values. In this study, we selected goal orientation as the value-related cognitive appraisal variable.

    The cognitive-motivation model can be applied to explain the consequence variables of academic emotions. Pekrun et al. (2002b) advocated that learners’ academic emotions affect their learning performance through motivation, strategies for learning, cognitive resources, and self-regulation. In this study, we selected motivational/emotional self-regulated strategies as cognitive-motivation variables to understand how test emotions affect academic achievement through motivational/emotional self-regulated strategies.

    Grounded in control-value theory and the cognitive-motivation model of academic emotions, this research explored test enjoyment. We collected information about enjoyment before and after a test and then examined the related antecedents and consequences to elucidate the effects of test enjoyment on students’ learning strategies and achievements during the test process. Accordingly, the objectives of the study were (1) to construct and verify the test enjoyment process model and (2) to analyze the following predictive effects: (a) control-value appraisals in relation to pretest enjoyment and motivational/emotional self-regulated strategies (b) and pretest enjoyment and motivational/emotional self-regulated strategies in relation to perceived test satisfaction, posttest enjoyment, and test scores.

    Data collected from seventh-to-ninth-grade junior high school students (N = 1321; 668 boys) from 12 schools (51 classes) in Taiwan were examined. Data collection was conducted in two waves. The first wave was conducted 1 week before the second sectional test. Scales measuring self-efficacy, effort belief, goal orientation, and pretest enjoyment were applied in that order. The second wave was conducted within 1 week after the second sectional test. Scales measuring motivational/emotional self-regulated strategies, test perception satisfaction, and posttest enjoyment were employed in that order. All scales referred to the students’ mathematics classes, and participants were requested to input their second sectional mathematics test scores on the scales. This study applied structural equation modeling to analyze the data using LISREL8.80. To assess the model fit, we used well-established indices, namely root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA; < .08), goodness of fit index (GFI), normed fit index (NFI), nonnormed fit index (NNFI), comparative fit index (CFI), and incremental fit index (IFI; > .90) in addition to chi-square test statistics.

    The results revealed that the test enjoyment process model was supported by the observed data; χ2(184, N = 1321) = 1979.17, p < .05; RMSEA = .086, GFI = .88, NNFI = .92, NFI, CFI, and IFI all equal .94. This results show that in addition to test anxiety, junior high school students also experience positive emotions, such as enjoyment, during math exams, and with the different test time points, there are different predictive relationships between test enjoyment and its antecedent and consequential variables. In other words, the results of this study support the important claim that "the academic emotional process composed of control-value theory and cognitive-motivation model is a cyclic process" (Pekrun, 2000; Pekrun et al., 2002b).

    In terms of the direct predictive effect of latent independent variables, self-efficacy (γ11 = .37), effort belief (γ12 = .06), approach mastery goal (γ13 = .35), avoidance mastery goal (γ14 = -.14), and approach performance goal (γ15 = .08) predicted pretest enjoyment. Furthermore, self-efficacy (γ21 = .09), effort belief (γ22 = .18), approach mastery goal (γ23 = .12), avoidance mastery goal (γ24 = .19), and approach performance goal (γ25 = .14) positively predicted motivational/emotional self-regulated strategies. No direct effect was observed for avoidance performance goal.

    In terms of the direct predictive effect of latent dependent variables, pretest enjoyment positively predicted motivational/ emotional regulated strategies (β21 = .12), perceived test satisfaction (β31 = .23), and posttest enjoyment (β41 = .15); motivational/ emotional self-regulated strategies positively predicted posttest enjoyment (β42 = .07) and test scores (β52 = .11); perceived test satisfaction positively predicted posttest enjoyment (β54 = .74); and, finally, posttest enjoyment positively predicted test score (β65 = .45).

    Regarding the indirect predictive effects of latent independent variables on latent dependent variables, first, self-efficacy, effort belief, approach mastery goal, avoidance mastery goal, and approach performance goal had an indirect effect on motivational/emotional self-regulated strategies through pretest enjoyment. Second, self-efficacy, effort belief, approach mastery goal, avoidance mastery goal, and approach performance goal had an indirect effect on perceived test satisfaction through pretest enjoyment. Third, self-efficacy, effort belief, approach mastery goal, avoidance mastery goal, and approach performance goal had an indirect effect on posttest enjoyment through pretest enjoyment, motivational/emotional self-regulated strategies, and perceived test satisfaction. Finally, self-efficacy, effort belief, approach mastery goal, avoidance mastery goal, and approach performance goal had an indirect effect on test scores through pretest enjoyment, motivational/emotional self-regulated strategies, perceived test satisfaction, and posttest enjoyment.

    These results support control-value theory and the cognitive-motivation model of academic emotions, indicating that cognitive appraisal variables can predict test emotions, and test emotions can predict test scores through cognitive-motivational variables. On the basis of the study findings, suggestions are made for future research and practical applications of teaching.


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關鍵詞: test enjoyment, control-value theory, cognitive-motivational model


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