Addressing affective states with empathy and growth mindset

Ivon Arroyo, Sarah Schultz, Naomi Wixon, Kasia Muldner, Winslow Burleson, Beverly P. Woolf

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We present results of a randomized controlled study that compared different types of affective support messages delivered by pedagogical agents. Results suggest that using a character that is empathic and emphasizes the malleability of intelligence and the importance of effort provides useful results in student learning, while reducing boredom and anxiety. Emphasizing success and failure ("That is correct/wrong") appears to be detrimental to learning and interest and promotes anxiety. We examine a variety of student affective, cognitive and engagement outcomes in an intelligent tutoring system for mathematics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
StatePublished - 2016
Event24th ACM Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalisation, UMAP 2016 - Halifax, Canada
Duration: Jul 13 2016Jul 16 2016


  • Affect
  • Empathy
  • Growth Mindset
  • Pedagogical Agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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