This study examined (a) students’ experienced emotions in the lectures of the compulsory courses of Psychology, Linguistics and Physics, (b) the role of students’ emotions, performance expect- ations, ability self-perceptions, value beliefs and estimated task-difficulty in the perception of their exam performance as successful or unsuccessful in the above courses, and (c) the role of students’ performance expectations, value beliefs, ability self-perceptions and perceived task-difficulty in the formulation of the emotions, and in the impact of the emotions on exam performance. The sample comprised 320 Early Childhood Education female students of 2nd and 3rd year. The results showed that the students experienced a rich variety, and a variation of intensity, of positive emotions in the lectures of the courses which positively influenced the perception of performance as successful or not (mainly, in Psychology). Similarly, value beliefs (not in Psychology) and competence beliefs (mainly, ability self-perception in Psychology, performance expectation in Linguistics, perceived task difficulty in Physics) discriminated the two groups of students in each course. Also, competence beliefs influenced the generation of emotions, but their predictive strength varied across the academic courses and within each academic course, while value beliefs proved weak predictor of emotions. In addition, emotions explained a significant amount of the variability in academic performance (particularly, in Psychology), and altogether, emotions, perceived task difficulty, value beliefs, and competence beliefs generated performance (least, in Linguistics). Finally, the effects of competence- and value- beliefs in the impact of emotions on academic performance differed across the courses, in favoring Physics.
Keywords: Academic Performance, Competence Beliefs, Emotions, Perceived Task-difficulty, Value Beliefs