FEASP-related emotions of Polish secondary school teachers and students

FEASP-related emotions of Polish secondary school teachers and students

Aleksander Sztejnberg

The purpose of this study was to re-validate a former study about the importance and validity of FEASP-emotions and related measurements. Data were collected from 654 Polish high school students and 147 teachers of 14 secondary schools. Results showed that emotions and especially FEASP-emotions (fear, envy, anger, sympathy, and pleasure) were important in daily instruction and that they were measured with high reliability. Gender differences also illustrated some predictive validity.

Keywords: instructional design, affective education, emotional intelligence, measurement, motivation


Emotional processes were not prominently anchored within the focus of Instructional Psychology so far. However, Astleitner (2000) presented a theory-based approach of how emotions can be integrated in daily instruction. Within the so-called FEASP-approach, 20 instructional strategies were presented to decrease negative emotions (fear, envy, and anger) and to increase positive emotions (sympathy and pleasure). The FEASP-approach was formulated for traditional instruction, but also for computer-based learning environments (Astleitner & Leutner, 2000). Furthermore, for measuring the importance and the effects of the FEASP-approach, an instrument- based on a questionnaire–was developed and validitated within an Austrian sample of high school teachers and university students (Astleitner, 2001). The purpose of this study was to re-validate the findings of the Austrian study within a sample of Polish secondary education teachers and students and to explore gender differences in FEASP-related emotions during instruction. Such differences are expected because females experience other emotions in comparison to males during instruction (based on different concepts of academic self-efficacy, self-understanding, and self-regulation) (e.g., Halpern, 2000).



For this study, data were gathered from n=654 Polish high school students and n=147 high school teachers in 28 classes in 14 secondary schools in six cities located in the south-west part of Poland. The sample of students showed an average age of 18 years. Slightly more than half (52,1%) of the students were males. The school teacher sample consisted of 107 females and 40 males. Teachers were asked to take part in the study during private meetings in the schools by research assistants. Research assistants conducted their studies as part of a bachelor’s degree program.


Both, teachers and students had to answer a questionnaire including the following issues:

* General importance of emotions during instruction. Teachers and students were asked to select one of the seven items depicted in Table 1. The items were ranked on a dimension from low (“emotions are not important …”) to high (emotions are more important than anything else …”) importance.

* Different types of emotions. The question “Which students emotions should teachers consider during instruction?” was presented to teachers. Students were asked about which of their emotions should be coped with by the course instructor. Both, teachers and students were requested to state at least five different types of emotions.

* FEASP-emotions. Students had to state how often (“never, “1-5 times”, “6-10 times”, “more than 10 times”) they experienced the five FEASP-emotions (fear, envy, anger, sympathy, and pleasure) during the course they were attending for the last two weeks. Each of the FEASP-emotions was measured with 8 items which were formulated by considering the definitions of the emotions elaborated within the FEASP-approach (Astleitner, 2000). Fear was measured with items such as “I had fear of failure” or “I was physically and mentally tensed up”. Envy was measured with items such as “I found myself discriminated in comparison with other people” or “I was jealous”. For measuring anger, items like “I was in rage about other people” or “I was aggressive” were used. For measuring sympathy, statements like “I experienced team spirit” or “I felt responsible for other students” were considered. Pleasure was measured by presenting statements like “I had fun” or “I was enthusiastic”.


Teachers were asked to complete the questionnaire and return it within a one week period. Students were given the questionnaires during an ordinary school lesson. Students had 25 minutes to complete and return the questionnaire to the teacher.


Results indicated that teachers and students are convinced that emotions are in general important during instruction. In respect to the relevance of the FEASP-emotions, it was found that fear, anger, and pleasure are important in view of teachers and students, however that envy and sympathy were of little importance (see Table 1). Overall, these re-validation results were similar to those found within an Austrian sample (Astleitner, 2001). After identifying the importance, it was also found that FEASP-emotions can be measured with high reliability (Cronbach’s Alpha ranged from 0.77 to 0.85) and that they differed between female and male students: Males showed slightly higher values in respect to anger, females in respect to sympathy and pleasure what confirmed results of similar studies and can be seen as indicator of predictive validity (e.g., Boman, 2003) (see Table 2).


Results of this validation study and the former study (Astleitner, 2001) allow to conclude that further steps should be undertaken to test effects of the FEASP-approach in educational practice, at least within a controlled setting (e.g., Sztejnberg, Brok, & Hurek, 2004).


Astleitner, H. (2000). Designing emotionally sound instruction: The FEASP-approach. Instructional Science. 28, 169-198.

Astleitner, H. (2001). Designing emotionally sound instruction – An empirical validation of the FEASP-approach. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 28, 209-219.

Astleitner, H., & Leutner, D. (2000). Designing instructional technology from an emotional perspective. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 32, 497-510.

Boman, P. (2003). Gender differences in school anger, International Educational Journal 4, 71-77.

Halpern, D. F. (2000). Sex differences and cognitive abilities. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Sztejnberg, A., Brok, P. den, & Hurek, J. (2004). Preferred teacher-student interpersonal behavior: Differences between Polish primary and higher education students’ perceptions. Journal of Classroom Interaction, 39, 32-40.

Aleksander Sztejnberg and Jozef Hurek, University of Opole, Poland. Hermann Astleitner, University of Salzburg, Austria.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Dr. Hermann Astleitner at hermann.astleitner@sbg.ac.at.

Table 1

The General Importance of Emotions

Within Instructional Settings

and of Different Types of Emotions

Within Instructional Settings

In View In View

of of

Teachers Students

Statements (in %) (n=147) (n=654)

Emotions are not important in 0.7 5.1

instructional settings, parents

should deal with them at home.

Emotions are not important, 0.7 1.7

because there are no emotional

problems within instructional settings.

Emotions are sometimes important, 0.0 5.5

especially when students

are disturbing.

Emotions are important, 1.4 9.0

but I am not interested in.

Emotions are as important 57.8 40.0

as cognitive and motivational


Emotions are very important, 36.0 32.5

because the development of

human character depends on them.

Emotions are more important 3.4 6.2

than anything else, because

emotions are the most

significant experiences in life.

Types of Emotions In View In View

and Related Aspects of of

(open statements in %) Teachers Students

Fear 31.7 47.5

Envy 0.0 0.6

Anger 14.7 11.2

Sympathy 0.7 1.8

Pleasure 17.1 10.3

Other Emotions

(e.g., sorrow,


stress) 35.8 28.6

Table 2

Reliability Coefficients of FEASP-Emotions’

Measurements and Gender Differences

in a Polish Sample (Z-standardized scale

means, n=652 students)

Fear Envy Anger

Cronbach’s Alpha 0.81 0.77 0.80

(Number of items) (8) (8) (8)

Means (standard 0.47 0.42 0.43

deviation) for (0.09) (0.05) (0.08)

females (n=311)

Means (standard 0.48 0.42 0.45

deviation) for (0.08) (0.05) (0.05)

males (n=341)

Sympathy Pleasure

Cronbach’s Alpha 0.77 0.85

(Number of items) (8) (8)

Means (standard 0.53 0.51

deviation) for (0.04) (0.07)

females (n=311)

Means (standard 0.51 0.49

deviation) for (0.04) (0.09)

males (n=341)

Note. * p < .05

COPYRIGHT 2006 George Uhlig Publisher

COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group