Emotional self-regulation over time : are affective fade and growth mindset associated with the development of task interest?
Coley, Sarah Louise
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The current two studies observed whether emotional fade over time was related to emotional self-regulation when having a negative experience with a novel activity. Furthermore, the studies also observed whether these relationships changed based on two moderators: the importance of competence in the domain of the novel task (attainment value) and the belief that abilities related to the domain are changeable (growth mindset). To pursue these ideas, participants completed a novel task manipulated to be especially difficult or especially easy. In Study 1, participants' affect and novel task interest were measured immediately after the task experience. It was hypothesized that participants' affect would serve as a plausible mediator for the relationship between task difficulty and task interest for a task reflecting high domain attainment value. In Study 2, a second session was implemented to measure participants' affect twice, to establish their affective fade over time. It was hypothesized that affective fade would positively predict interest, but only for growth-minded participants who cared about their competence in the task. Results of the two studies were mixed: in Study 1, affect was a plausible mediator between condition difficulty and interest, but alternative models involving interest as a mediator were also supported; in Study 2, attainment value, growth mindset, and affective fade predicted interest in the difficult condition, but not the easy condition. Furthermore, the specific patterns of results were not as predicted. Exploratory analyses were also conducted and future directions are discussed.