Trakia University, Stara Zagora (Bulgaria)
Abstract. The formation of motivation for learning is a complex process, which also depends on external influences, often remaining unconscious to the learner. A study was conducted to reveal causes for significant differences in the learning achievements between the small administratively formed student groups. The study identifies the emotional leaders, and the working hypothesis was that they influence the learning motivation of others – the group learns and has a high average grade if emotional leaders are studious students. And vice versa, if they are weak students the whole group lowers their grades. Material and methods. The advancement in physics of 18 administratively formed groups studying veterinary medicine at Trakia University, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, was traced objectively by computer tests. The leading criterion in the formation of the groups is which foreign language was studied in high school, i.e. the criterion does not sort students into groups by his/her pre-training or intelligence. Results: The study used a survey, a modification of Moreno’s survey, in which students from each group were arranged in subgroups according to the emotional rank set by their colleagues. Students with a rank above 2/3 of the maximum were marked as “leaders”. Those with a rank below 1/3 as “anti-leaders”, and the rest – as “neutral”. The results from the study study showed that the initial hypothesis was not confirmed – with the highest correlation coefficient with the average grade of the groups was the average grade of the subgroup of anti-leaders, if they are studious students. I.e. the main external motive for learning in the studied case was not the example of the leaders, but striving not to lag behind colleagues to whom you feel negative feelings – from dislike to hatred.
Keywords: dislike between colleagues; motivation for learning; objective grade; computer tests; leaders