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The effects of emotions on students’ self-motivation: music, lyrics and inspirational events as emotional stimuli

Author: 
Getrude Cosmas, Walton Wider and Kailon Jakim
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

This study examines the effects of positive and negative emotions on students’ self-motivation. Participants' emotions were stimulated with music, lyrics, and inspirational event. There were 259 participants taking part in this study; 56 males (21.6%) and 203 females (78.4%) with a mean age of 20.16 (SD=.95). We predicted that both positive and negative emotions contributed to self-motivation. We measured emotional levels using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) scale and motivational levels using a self-motivation scale. Participants were divided into two groups; experimental (141) vs. control (118). Both groups watched videos of runners in the Olympic Games. In the experimental group, all three elements (music, lyrics, & an inspirational event) were presented to the participants; in the control group, only two elements (music & an inspirational event) were presented. In the experimental group, positive emotions (i.e., being alert, active, determined, inspired & attentive) contributed to 16.9% of the variance in self-motivation, β=.41, t(134) = 5.12, p=.00), whereas, in the control group, positive emotions contributed only 7% of the variance in self-motivation β = .41, t (110) = 2.88, p=.00. In both groups, negative emotions (i.e., feeling upset, hostile, ashamed, nervous, & afraid) did not show any contribution to self-motivation. The findings showed that emotions stimulated by combined music, lyrics and an inspirational event contributed more significantly and positively to self-motivation than music and an inspirational event alone. Therefore, we suggested that music, lyrics and inspirational events could be used to stimulate students’ self-motivation. However, a follow-up study needs to be conducted to examine the sleeper effect on self-motivation to determine whether the effects are maintained over time.

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