You are here: Home / Publications / Articles / How much trait is captured by measures of academic state emotions? A latent state-trait analysis.
How much trait is captured by measures of academic state emotions? A latent state-trait analysis.
Nett, U. E., Bieg, M., Keller, M.

How much trait is captured by measures of academic state emotions? A latent state-trait analysis.

European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 33(4), 2239-255

Although the popularity of research on academic emotions is on the rise, little is known about the extent to which these emotional experiences are due to stable (trait) versus situational (state) influences. In the present paper, we applied the latent state-trait approach (LST) to multiple state assessments of five frequently experienced discrete academic emotions (enjoyment, pride, anger, anxiety, boredom) to disentangle their trait versus state variance components. We had two main aims: (1) to identify the differential contributions of the person-specific (trait) and situation-specific (state) variance components of discrete academic emotions, and (2) to examine the relations between different discrete academic emotions with regard to their latent trait and latent state residual components. Eight hundred thirty-seven German students participated in this diary study that lasted 2–3 weeks. During this time, students responded to short (two items per emotion) questionnaires asking about their lesson-specific state emotions in mathematics. The results revealed that for each academic emotion the trait variance and state residual components were of about equal size. Further, while differently valenced (positive vs. negative) latent trait components of students’ emotions were mostly uncorrelated (with the exception of boredom), differently valenced latent state residual components of students’ emotions were negatively correlated. We discuss our findings in relation to the structure of current affect and highlight their implications for classroom practices.