Please Pass the Peas: Influence of Emotions on Adult Learning Motivations

Samantha Ramsay, Laura Holyoke


The purpose of this study was to expand the knowledge of adult motivation in unconventional professional settings.  Nine focus group interviews were conducted with child care providers in child care settings from four states in the Western United States: California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.  At each focus group interview three to eight participants viewed two video vignettes on feeding young children and participated in a facilitated discussion that was audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed to identify themes related to participants’ motivation to learn (Ely et al., 1997; Strauss & Corbin, 1990). A primary theme was the presence of hedonistic emotions. Child care providers’ immediate and anticipated feelings of pleasure along with their desire to avoid pain influenced their motivation to learn. Hedonistic emotions were imbedded within and throughout participants’ learning. To enhance adult motivation to learn and learning, adult educators should identify and attend to hedonistic emotions.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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