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ERIC Number: EJ1134530
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-4744
Setting the Mood for Critical Thinking in the Classroom
Lewine, Rich; Sommers, Alison; Waford, Rachel; Robertson, Catherine
International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v9 n2 Article 5 Jul 2015
Most current efforts to enhance critical thinking focus on skills practice and training. The empirical research from the fields of cognition and affect sciences suggest that positive mood, even when transiently induced, can have beneficial effects on cognitive flexibility and problem solving. We undertook this study to test this hypothesis in a practical setting. Using an A-B-A-B within subject design, we measured the impact of positive (versus neutral) mood on critical thinking demonstrated on four essay exams in an undergraduate course in personality. There was a significant enhancing effect of positive mood on critical thinking in female students, but not in male students. We discuss possible sex differences that may account for the partial support of the mood-critical thinking effect.
Centers for Teaching & Technology at Georgia Southern University. IJ-SoTL, Georgia Southern University, Henderson Library 1301, Statesboro, GA 30460. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A