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Putwain, David W.; Symes, Wendy; Remedios, Richard (2016): The impact of fear appeals on subjective-task value and academic self-efficacy: The role of appraisal. In: Learning and individual Differences, Vol. 51: pp. 307-313
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Previous studies have shown that when appraised as threatening, fear appeals (messages that highlight the negative consequences of failure) are related to more negative emotions, maladaptive motivations, and lower grades. This study asks the question of how subjective-task values and academic self-efficacy are related to challenge as well as threat appraisals of fear appeals. Data were collected from 923 students preparing for a high-stakes secondary school leaving examination and analyzed using structural equation modeling. Fear appeals were positively related to subjective-task values and academic self-efficacy when appraised as challenging and negatively related when appraised as threatening. The effectiveness of fear appeals as a motivational strategy depends on how they are interpreted and understood by the student. Teachers require training to be able to judge which messages are likely to be effective for which students. (C) 2016 Published by ELSEVIER.