Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Experimental Psychology

Committee Chair

Arthur Graesser

Committee Member

Sidney D'Mello

Committee Member

Andrew Olney

Committee Member

Conley Mark


Emotional experiences occur often during online learning and need to be successfully regulated. In this dissertation, three interventions were tested to gauge their effects on engagement and performance. These interventions used or combined elements of cognitive reappraisal and situated context construction. Ethnically diverse adult learners ranging from 18 to 68 years of age (N = 209) used one of these strategies or no strategy (control) in an online learning environment. It was predicted that participants who used these interventions would experience more engagement and higher learning outcomes than a control condition. It was also predicted that the combined use of reappraisal and situated context construction interventions would yield additive or multiplicative effects on engagement and learning, compared to the use of only one type of intervention. Engagement and learning outcomes were measured throughout the experiment. Participants who used reappraisal generally reported more engagement and achieved higher learning outcomes than controls. Participants who used situated context strategy experienced more engagement, but did not achieve significantly higher learning outcomes. Learners who used a combination of reappraisal and situated context construction strategies experienced an additive increase in engagement and learning, compared to learners who used reappraisal or situated context strategies only. Implications of these findings are discussed for improving online pedagogies in order to help learners be more engaged and achieve better learning outcomes.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.