Impact of rejection sensitivity on socio-cognitive conflict learning in intelligent tutoring system environments


Socio-cognitive conflict is not only an inevitable cognitive and affective state in group learning experience, but also creates opportunities for better learning. When learners experience socio-cognitive conflict, they inspect the gaps in their knowledge. But not all learners benefit from this experience. Students vary greatly in their dispositions to react to social rejection (rejection sensitivity, RS) with implications for knowledge acquisition in group learning. How learners face and engage in conflict, therefore, may be dependent on learners’ RS. In this paper, we examine the extent to which Low Rejection Sensitivity (LRS) and High Rejection Sensitivity (HRS) influence socio-cognitive conflict learning gains. In a 4×2 mixed-design with contradictory information as a within-subjects factor (True-False, False-True, False-False, True-True) and RS as the between-subjects factor (Low, High), we analyzed perceived socio-cognitive conflict and knowledge acquisition in a multi-agent intelligent tutoring system (ITS) environment, where 78 participants engaged in trialogues on research methods concepts with animated two peer agents. The results show that high as compared to low (HRS vs. LRS) learners display a significantly more socio-cognitive conflict perception but less knowledge acquisition in contradictory information conditions. Our findings suggest that RS biases the knowledge acquisition in socio-cognitive conflict learning environments, which indicates that socio-cognitive conflict strategy cannot simply be generalized across different learners in ITS environments, and ITS learning environments need to be designed with respect to learners’ dispositions.

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CEUR Workshop Proceedings

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