The effects of rejection sensitivity on confusion regulation during learning in multiagent intelligent tutoring system environments


Confusion is a popular epistemic affective state during team learning, indicating that there is a problem with the current state of one's knowledge. Previously, we have successfully induced learner's confusion during virtual team learning within a Multiagent Intelligent Tutoring System that teaches research methods. The desirability of confusion induction is relatively unequivocal, but how and to whom confusion regulation enhances learning remains an open question. This study addresses these challenges through three experiments in virtual team learning examining potential relationships between confusion regulation and subsequent learning outcomes among learners with different rejection sensitivity. In Study 1 (n = 81), we compared the effects of cognitive support, socio-affective support, and control condition on confusion regulation learning outcomes within a Multiagent Intelligent Tutoring System environment that offers virtual team learning. In Study 2 (n = 102) and Study 3 (n = 102), we examined if learners with different rejection sensitivity could benefit from cognitive or socio-affective support respectively. In these studies, participants received support from a virtual team on how to regulate confusion after a confusion induction. The results indicated that cognitive support in response to low rejection sensitivity learner's confusion had positive effects on enhancing learning outcomes, while socio-affective support was more suitable for high rejection sensitivity learners. Hence, learning is more increased when the virtual team environments capitalize on the benefits of personalized confusion regulation besides confusion induction.

Publication Title

CEUR Workshop Proceedings

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