PhD candidate Jaana Isohätälä defends her PhD thesis June 5th

LET member Jaana Isohätälä will defend her PhD thesis June 5th at 12 noon. The PhD is titled “The interplay of cognitive and socio-emotional processes in social interaction. Process-oriented analyses of collaborative learning”. The opponent will be Senior Research Engineer Kristine Lund from the University of Lyon.

An online stream will be available at

The PhD describes how cognitive and socio-emotional processes intertwine in small groups’ social interaction. Thus, the dissertation explores how groups discussed knowledge, but also how they got along and expressed their feelings.

The participants were forty-three Finnish teacher education students who collaborated in groups of four in mathematics and environmental science classes. The results are based on the qualitative analysis of video-recorded, face-to-face social interaction, which was complemented by students’ and a teacher’s evaluations of the quality of social interaction.

The results show that cognitive and socio-emotional processes fluctuated in groups’ social interaction but were continuously intertwined. Socio-emotional interaction, such as expressing emotions and supporting each other, encouraged students to participate in social interaction.

Socio-emotional interaction also helped students regulate their learning, such as monitor and resolve challenges. Furthermore, students could maintain a positive socio-emotional climate during argumentation by expressing claims tentatively, showing consideration of divergent claims, and relaxing tension.

Attempts to support collaborative learning in education or work must acknowledge the interplay of cognitive and socio-emotional processes in social interaction. For example, there is a need to practice socio-emotional interaction as part of skillful group work.

Read the PhD thesis online at

Viimeksi päivitetty: 27.5.2020