Do Emotions Make A Difference? Determining if Positive Emotions Moderate the Effectiveness of an Embodied Language Comprehension Intervention
Previous research demonstrated the overall efficacy of an embodied language intervention (EMBRACE) that taught pre-school children how to simulate (imagine) language in a heard narrative. However, EMBRACE was not effective for every child. To try to explain this variable response to the intervention, the video recordings made during the four-day intervention sessions were assessed and emotion was coded. Each session was emotion-coded for child emotions and for child-researcher emotions. The child specific emotions were 1) engagement in the task, this included level of participation in the activity, 2) motivation/attention to persist and complete the task, as well as stay focused, and 3) positive affect throughout the session. The child-researcher specific emotions were 1) engagement with each other, this involved how the child interacted with the researcher and under what context, and 2) researcher’s positive affect, this incorporated how enthusiastic and encouraging the researcher was throughout the session. It was hypothesized that effectiveness of the intervention would be directly correlated with the degree that the child displayed positive emotions during the intervention. Thus, the analysis of these emotions should highlight differences between the control and EMBRACE group and help to explain variability in effectiveness of the intervention. The results did indicate that children in the EMBRACE group generally had a significantly higher positive affect compared to the control group, but these results did not influence the ability for the child to effectively recall or moderate the EEG variables in the post-test. The results also showed that children who interacted with the researcher more tended to be in the EMBRACE group, whereas children who did not interact with the researcher more frequently were in the control group, showing that the EMBRACE intervention ended up being a more collaborative task.