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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02263

Understanding emotion-related processes in classroom activities through functional measurements

  • 1Université Paris Nanterre, France
  • 2Faculty of Psychology, Saint Petersburg State University, Russia
  • 3Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy, Russia
  • 4N. I. Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
  • 5Department of Psychology, Université Paris Nanterre, France

To improve educational research focusing on such complex phenomenon as the interaction of emotion-related processes (affects) and students’ learning classroom activities, the collaboration between Educational studies and Neurosciences appears particularly relevant. Stress or ‘stress response’ being an emotion-related psychological process (Gross, 2014) having a neurobiological origin (Selye, 1956) is mostly studied in neurophysiological research using laboratory controlled objective measurements. One of such methods, HRV (heart rate variability) is considered as a reliable neurobiological correlate of stress response as the heart and the brain are directly and indirectly connected, which is advanced by the neurovisceral integration model (Thayer and Lane, 2000; Thayer and Lane, 2009).
This article presents an empirical research which uses a neurophysiological HRV method of wireless measurement of stress response in students of 11-12 y.o. (N=12) during real-life classroom (oral and written) assessment activities and in 5 different lessons. The stress data was confronted to the analysis of the students’ behavior and the nature of classroom events through a video-based classroom observation. The results indicate that cardiovascular correlates of parasympathetic activity are instantaneous markers of stress response and correspond to real contextual elements of classroom assessment activities, among which the most stressful are: writing a short test, an oral reply to the question of the teacher, putting up hand to reply, etc. The stressful factors were highlighted, grouped and ranked. The longest stress duration was registered for oral reply at the blackboard. The total stress duration covered 38.8% of time spent in the classroom. This finding suggests that classroom assessment activities are stressful in young students as possibly representing social evaluation.

Keywords: Education, Neurosciences, emotion-related processes, stress response, assessment classroom activities, HRV

Received: 05 May 2019; Accepted: 23 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Prokofieva Nelson, Kostromina, Polevaia and Fenouillet. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Victoria Prokofieva Nelson, Université Paris Nanterre, Nanterre, France,