ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (12): 2639-2649.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.02639

• Conceptual Framework • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The cognitive and brain mechanisms of how emotional experience affecting individuals’ utilization of estimation strategies

ZHU Chuanlin1(), LIU Dianzhi2, LUO Wenbo3   

  1. 1School of Educational Science, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225002, China
    2School of Education, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China
    3Brain and Cognitive Neuroscience Research Center, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China
  • Received:2022-03-16 Online:2022-12-15 Published:2022-09-23
  • Contact: ZHU Chuanlin


Researchers have fully studied the influence of emotional experience on individuals’ performance of completing mathematical tasks by using questionnaires and behavioral experiments, and they focused on the relationship between anxiety (especially mathematical anxiety) and mathematical performance. Nevertheless, the underlying brain mechanism of this relationship remains unknown. Furthermore, we also experience a variety of emotions in addition to anxiety in our daily lives. To our knowledge, few studies have studied the relationship between emotional experiences other than anxiety and the estimation strategy utilization effectiveness, or the influence of emotion regulation on estimation strategy utilization.
This study is comprised of a series of experiments, aiming to examine the cognitive mechanisms of emotion priming and emotion regulation affecting estimation strategy utilization. Specifically, in study 1, facial expression images (positive, neutral and negative) will be used as emotional stimuli, and participants will be asked to finish the emotion labeling task (experiment 1 and experiment 2) or the gender judging task (experiment 3 and experiment 4), which is aimed to achieve the purpose of explicit emotional priming and implicit emotional priming, respectively. In our study, we combine the event related potential (ERP) technology (experiment 1 and experiment 3) and the behavioral experiment (experiment 2 and experiment 4) as research methods. We plan to ask participants to complete the two-digit multiplication estimation tasks (e.g., 23 × 78), by using the specified estimation strategies (strategy execution, experiment 1 and experiment 3) or a freely chosen strategy (strategy choice, experiment 2 and experiment 4), aiming to reveal the influence of emotional valence (positive, neutral, and negative) and emotional priming style (explicit prime vs. implicit prime) on estimation strategy utilization. Under the strategy execution condition, the specified estimation strategies are down-up (DU) and up-down (UD) strategy. Under the DU condition, participants will be asked to round the first operand down to the nearest decade, and round the second operand up to the nearest decade (e.g., doing 20 × 80=1600 for 23 × 78). Under the UD condition, participants will be asked to round the first operand up to the nearest decade, and round the second operand down to the nearest decade (e.g., doing 30 × 70=2100 for 28 × 73). In study 2, we will utilize the high temporal resolution of ERP technology to examine the influence of reappraisal and suppression on estimation strategy execution, from the perspective of explicit and implicit emotion regulation, respectively. In study 2, we aim to reveal the potential temporal dynamic characteristics and the brain activation patterns of along with the emotion regulation effects during estimation strategy utilization. Under implicit emotion regulation condition, participants will be asked to complete the word matching task, during which they are required to select the synonym of the target word from the alternative words, while the target word contains the meaning of reappraisal or suppression.
The innovations of this study are as follows: Firstly, by taking full advantage of the high temporal resolution of ERP technology, we can specifically identify that in which stage(s) (encoding stage, retrieval stage, and reaction stage) the influence of emotional experience (explicit and implicit) on estimation strategy utilization occurs. This study provides a new perspective for effectively overcoming the shortcomings of mathematics learning and learning strategies in other disciplines. Secondly, this study introduces emotion regulation into the field of estimation for the first time, which paves a new direction for research estimation strategies as well as extends studies about estimation strategy from “cold cognition” to “hot cognition”, by which may promote further studies on the intersection of emotion (emotion regulation) and estimation strategy. Thirdly, the natural science methods will be used to study the problem of learning strategies in the present study, which helps to better understand the cognitive and brain mechanisms underlying the effect of emotional experience on the utilization of estimation strategies, and provides an empirical basis for optimizing the estimation strategy utilization.

Key words: emotion priming, emotion regulation, facial expressions, event-related potentials, estimation strategy

CLC Number: