This study examines affective liability and cognitive problems as correlate if emotional detachment of undergraduate. A case study of undergraduate students of Babcock University.

This research adopt descriptive survey design. The data was analysed using Multiple regression analysis to test the relationship among the variables.

The finding of the study reveals that: Affective liability will not significantly determine emotional detachment among undergraduates. Cognitive Problems will not significantly determine emotional detachment among undergraduates. Affective Liability and Cognitive Problems will not significantly determine emotional detachment among Undergraduates.

The study concluded that affective Liability and Cognitive Problems will not significantly determine emotional detachment among Undergraduates in Babcock University. The study further recommends that: Undergraduates experiencing symptoms of affective lability must ensure to seek help from professional counselor in order to walk through the process of healing with sufferers. Lecturers, parents, and other stakeholders in an undergraduate’s life must foster trust in undergraduates. Government should reconsider the current state of affairs presently regarding abuse. Schools should exert intensive efforts to build the Counselling department of the school in order to meet the needs of the students.










1.1   Background of the Study

Psychology is among many things that matters human day-to- day activities. The success and failure faced in various activities performed on a daily basis mostly depends on every day psychology. As such people can suffer from various psychological problems that severely disrupts their daily functioning in various occasions.

Different psychological factors have been identified to influenced students’ learning and academic achievement. Affective and cognitive factors are some of the major psychological factors which influence the emotion of students and learning outcome. Factors such as students' engagement and emotion have been linked to important outcomes such as grades, persistence, and mental health all which arise from Affective and cognitive problem (Hwang, Kongcharoen & Ginea, 2016).

Affection refers to emotions and conation encompasses motivation (Hilgard, 1980). Affective factors are emotional factors which influence learning. They can have a negative or positive effect. Negative affective factors are called affective filters and are an important idea in theories on factors influencing students’ emotion (Khaleghi, 2016). Cognitive factors refer to those perceived factors that involved the students' mental and thinking processes towards feedback received (Mubuuke, Louw & Schalkwyk, 2017). In other words, these factors originated from within the students' internal mental processes.

The affective component which is a student’s reactions to the task may results in emotional detachment (Pintrich, DeGroot, 1990, Pintrich, Schunk, 2002). Task anxiety is the most frequent affective variable related to student emotion, performance and achievement. Research results consistently show a negative effect of anxiety on emotional level and academic performance (Pintrich & Schunk, 2002). Hembree (1988) in his meta-analysis found that test anxiety is negatively related to performance and selfesteem. 

Affective problems relate students’ defensiveness and fear of negative evaluations. During a verbal presentation, a student can be mainly occupied with task-relevant thoughts such as concentrating on the content, thinking of the way to organize activities and stimulate colleagues to participate in discussions. On the other hand, if the situation is perceived as a threat to the student, when the student perceives a discrepancy between the demands of the task and his personal resources available to accomplish them, emotions-focused coping and irrelevant cognitions are elicited. Research has shown that negative intrusive thoughts relate negatively to academic performance, especially in presenting to peer groups, as we have found in a similar study with pre-service teachers (Peklaj & Puklek, 2001, Puklek, 2001).

Cognitive problems are psychological factors that relates to strategies in a learning activity. Cognitive problems also proved to be connected to emotion and to learning achievement. The connections between cognitive strategies, the motivational dimension and emotional detachment are multidirectional and complex. Positive correlations were found between self-efficacy and cognitive strategy use (Pintrich & De Groot, 1990), and between self–efficacy and deep processing in a statistics course (Bandalos, Geske & Finney, 2003). Learning (mastery) goals were positively related to task interest (Senko & Harackiewicz, 2005), to information processing, planning and monitoring (Ames & Archer, 1988), and to a deep approach to learning in an introductory psychology course (Elliot, McGregor & Gable, 1999). Performance goals were positively related to self-efficacy, test anxiety and disorganization in learning (Bandalos,, 2003). A negative relationship between test anxiety and self-efficacy was also found (Pintrich & De Groot, 1990, Zohar, 1998).

1.2   Statement of the Problem

Emotional detachment among undergraduates has been linked to abuse, use of anti-depressant drugs and a symptom of other conditions, however, this work seeks to look into the relationship between emotional detachment, affective liability and cognitive problems.

Psychological factors are a multidimensional construct. Researchers in the field of psychology agree that a student engaging in any learning situation has to answer three fundamental questions: ‘Can I do this activity?’, ‘Do I want to do this activity and why?’, and ‘What do I need to do to succeed?’ (Wiegfield & Eccles, 2001). The answer to these questions and level of students’ performance are mainly link to the level of emotion.

However, students’ emotional level may influenced by psychological factors of affective liability and emotional problems Cognitive and affective philological factors May results in problem of emotional detachment. These problems mainly emanates from psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, depression, lack of motivation, loneness, helplessness and phobias. These psychological problems can lead students in higher education institution to failure in their academic achievements, test anxiety, poor performance, low self confidence, unrealistic worry and fear or uneasiness that interfere with their ability to function normally (Becharu, 2018).

These make the understanding of the factors that influenced emotional detachment and learning of students’ within specific contexts an important endeavor with possibilities for designing interventions and modifications that could improve educational outcomes. Boekaerts (2016) opined that, comprehension of the affective and cognitive aspects of motivational and emotional detachment is undeniably one of the most crucial goals of educational psychology” because of its “far-reaching practical implications”.                 

According to Yerkes-Dodson law (Gold, 1987) from psychological research suggests that performance is best when stress and emotional levels are moderate. Performance suffers under both low and high stress conditions leading to emotional detachment. Under conditions of high stress, performance on perception, memory and higher order thinking tend to be poor, due to the very high levels of stress created by the situation.

Undergraduate stage is the most critical moment for students because at this level it is hard for students to easily adjust themselves to the campus environment as well as the process of teaching and learning. As a study conducted by school of social science and humanities suggested that most drop out from Dire Dawa University are among those that are emotionally detached due to their inability to cope psychological stress and learning process (Beharu, 2018). Psychological factors can play a decisive role for the attrition rate of the undergraduate and has become the challenges of educational authorities and parents.

The question posed by this study is “will here be a relationship between emotional detachment, affective liability and cognitive problems? This study therefore examines if any significant relationship exists between the independent variables (cognitive problems and affective liability) and the dependent variable (emotional detachment). Therefore this study tries to investigate affective liability and cognitive problems as correlate of emotional detachment of undergraduate.

1.3         Objective of the Study

The broad objective of the study is to investigate affective liability and cognitive problems as correlates of emotional detachment of undergraduates. The broad objectives are to:

  1.       i.                  Examine the relationship between affective liability on emotional detachment among undergraduates
  2.     ii.                  Find out if cognitive problems can determine the emotional detachment among undergraduates
  3.    iii.                  Examine the significant relationship between affective liability and cognitive problems be significantly related to emotional detachment of undergraduates.

1.4     Research Questions

  1.       i.         There be any significant relationship between affective liability on emotional detachment of undergraduates?
  2.     ii.         Will cognitive problems significantly determine the emotional detachment of undergraduates?
  3.    iii.         Will affective liability and cognitive problems be significantly related to emotional detachment of undergraduates?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

 The following null hypothesis will be tested in the study

  1.       i.                  Affective liability will not significantly determine emotional detachment of undergraduates.
  2.     ii.                  Cognitive problems will not significantly determine emotional detachment of undergraduates
  3.    iii.                  Affective liability and cognitive problems will not significantly determine emotional detachments of undergraduates.

1.6   Significance of the Study

            Students at undergraduate level pass through a lot of psychological phases and are exposed to different conditions which affect their learning process. While some students can easily cope with psychological stress of learning, some are weak to get along with psychological stress which may lead to emotional issue thereby affecting learning outcome. The need to investigate the effect of affective liability and cognitive problems as correlate of emotional detachment of undergraduates result from the rate of school dropout and erosion of graduate quality which may result from emotional and psychological issues which lead to underperformance.

            This study will be of important significance to the government, education authorities and parents. The study will inform government on the reasons for students’ emotional detachment and underperformance from psychological perspective. Also, through the findings of this study, education authorities will be able to take necessary steps towards ensuring that students learn under good conditions and reduce emotional stress of students. Furthermore, parents would find this study useful because it will give them adequate knowledge on psychological factors that affect their children at undergraduate level while some helping them to guide and counsel them on different issues affecting their emotions. Finally, the study will serve as useful materials for future research.                

1.6   Scope of the Study

This study seeks to investigate affective liability and cognitive problems as correlate of emotional detachment of undergraduate. The study will focus on undergraduate students of Babcock University only. Primary data will be used to collect data from the respondents with the aid of questionnaire.        

1.7   Operational Definition of Terms 

Cognitive Problem: These are factors that affect cognitive abilities of students including learning, memory, perception, and problem solving

Affective Liability: This is a psychological disorder or factors that mainly affect the mood of students. They are mainly factors like fear, anxiety, stress, lack of confidence and shyness that affect the learning process of students.

Emotion:  This is a mental state associated with the nervous systembrought on by chemical changes variously associated with thoughts, feelings, behavioural responses, and a degree of pleasure or displeasure.       

Emotion Detachment: This is the inability to connect to others on an emotional level, as well as a means of coping with anxiety by avoiding certain situations that trigger it. It is often considered one element of a larger psychological or medical condition, might include Asperger’s syndrome, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder or personality disorder. Emotional detachment could be as a result of trauma or abuse, people who have been neglected or abused may develop this as a coping mechanism.