Quantitative research into the nature of academic emotions has thus far been dominated by factor analyses of questionnaire data. Recently, psychometric network analysis has arisen as an alternative method of conceptualizing the composition of psychological phenomena such as emotions: while factor models view emotions as underlying causes of affects, cognitions and behavior, in network models psychological phenomena are viewed as arising from the interactions of their component parts. We argue that the network perspective is of interest to studies of academic emotions due to its compatibility with the theoretical assumptions of the control value theory of academic emotions. In this contribution we assess the structure of a Finnish questionnaire of academic emotions using both network analysis and exploratory factor analysis on cross-sectional data obtained during a single course. The global correlational structure of the network, investigated using the spinglass community detection analysis, differed from the results of the factor analysis mainly in that positive emotions were grouped in one community but loaded on different factors. Local associations between pairs of variables in the network model may arise due to different reasons, such as variable A causing variation in variable B or vice versa, or due to a latent variable affecting both. We view the relationship between feelings of self-efficacy and the other emotions as causal hypotheses, and argue that strengthening the students' self-efficacy may have a beneficial effect on the rest of the emotions they experienced on the course. Other local associations in the network model are argued to arise due to unmodeled latent variables. Future psychometric studies may benefit from combining network models and factor models in researching the structure of academic emotions.
- 516 Kasvatustieteet
- 515 Psykologia