Guided by assumptions from the cognitive–affective theory of learning with media, this study conducted a teaching experiment to corroborate past correlational research that suggested instructor misbehaviors, in the form of antagonism toward students, impede students’ cognitive learning. Results revealed that students exposed to the treatment lecture with antagonism had lower affect for the course and instructor. Moreover, because they had lower affect for the material, antagonized students scored worse on a test of their learning (mediation) compared with students in the standard lecture. Students who possessed a mastery orientation toward learning, and independently, who were effort-regulated, scored even lower on their tests of learning because antagonistic instruction caused a greater reduction in their affect toward the material being taught (moderated mediation). Overall, results suggested that instructor misbehaviors do cause slight learning deficits for students, especially for students who value their learning opportunities.
Goodboy, A. K., Bolkan, S., & Parker, J. P. (2018). Instructor misbehaviors impede students’ cognitive learning: Testing the causal assumption. Communication Education, 67(3), 308-329. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03634523.2018.1465192