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Taxer, Jamie L.; Frenzel, Anne C. ORCID: 0000-0002-9068-9926 (2019): Brief Research Report: The Message Behind Teacher Emotions. In: Journal of Experimental Education
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Abstract

We hypothesized that students use the message behind teacher emotions to interpret the cause of their failure and to form competence beliefs; hence, in failure situations teacher anger could be beneficial. In Experiment 1, participants made judgments about another student’s failure in the face of teacher pity versus anger. Lack of ability attributions were made and low competence was perceived, when pity was interpreted as the teacher attributed the failure to lack of ability. Lack of effort attributions were made when anger was interpreted as the teacher attributed the failure to lack of effort. Experiment 2 replicated and extended these findings by examining students responses to their own failure. Findings imply that expressing anger is less detrimental than many teachers suppose