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Exploring the relationship between emotions and the acquisition of computer knowledge

Computers & Education Volume 50, Number 4, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Most computer users have to deal with major software upgrades every 6–18 months. Given the pressure of having to adjust so quickly and so often, it is reasonable to assume that users will express emotional reactions such as anger, desperation, anxiety, or relief during the learning process. To date, the primary emotion studied with respect to computer knowledge has been anxiety or fear. The purpose of the following study was to explore the relationship among a broader range of emotions (anger, anxiety, happiness, and sadness) and the acquisition of nine computer related skills. Pre- and post-surveys were given to 184 preservice education students enrolled in 8 month, integrated laptop program. Happiness was expressed most of the time – anxiety, anger, and sadness were reported sometimes. Anxiety and anger levels decreased significantly, while computer knowledge increased. All four emotions were significantly correlated with all nine computer knowledge areas at the beginning of the program, but happiness and anxiety were the only emotions significantly related to change in computer knowledge.


Kay, R.H. (2008). Exploring the relationship between emotions and the acquisition of computer knowledge. Computers & Education, 50(4), 1269-1283. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved February 8, 2023 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 30, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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