Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Fall 2021

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Biological Sciences

Program or Major

Neuroscience & Behavior

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Caitlin Mills


Previous research into confusion and learning neglects to investigate how this relationship varies when faced with impact factors such as multiple types of affect and learning measurements, learning environment, or grade level. Moreover, past research also reports di-verse effect size values for this relationship, making the correlation ambiguous. As such, the current research seeks to reconcile these nuances between confusion and learning through a meta-analytic approach. In this analysis, it was found that there was no relationship between confusion and learning gains, or in the subgroup analysis of grade level. Since only one impact factor, grade level, was analyzed, it is considered that the analysis of other or multiple impact factors could help to further understand the association between confusion and learning. It is also reasoned that variability in the definitions of confusion and learning in the papers included in the meta-analysis as well as publication bias contribute to this result. As such, future research may choose to investigate these avenues and continued research generally into the association between confusion and learning would also be helpful to better understand this relationship.