Examining the Role of Stress Appraisal in Adolescents to Improve Learning

student studies
Date Completed

To examine stress and Executive Function (EF) jointly, the research team will employ AquaPressure, a novel game-based assessment of EF developed at MIT through collaborative efforts between McGovern Institute for Brain Research and MITili. AquaPressure was designed 1) for adolescents and 2) to examine EF under varying conditions of stress. Three research studies have already been conducted using AquaPressure and an initial study with adolescent participants (n=200) demonstrated that experiences of stress were effectively altered during conditions of low- and high-stress without changing other experiences such as perceived engagement and effort. These preliminary findings underscore the utility of AquaPressure as a tool for studying changes in a learner’s cognitive function in socio-emotional contexts. What remains unknown is how perceptions of these emotional contexts can be used to help students optimize their cognitive functions and ultimately, their learning outcomes, while under stress.

Eric Klopfer, Nancy Tsai
Lab Name
Comparative Media Studies | Writing