Positive emotions are essential for human behaviour and adaption. They help to envision goals and challenges, open the mind to thoughts and problem-solving, protect health by fostering resiliency, create attachments to significant others, lay the groundwork for individual self-regulation, and guide the behaviour of groups, social systems, and nations. In spite of their many functions, however, ... [Show full abstract] positive emotions have been neglected by psychology. Until recently, psychology has focused on the dark side of human life. Psycho-pathological behaviour, negative emotions emanating from stress, and coping with stress and negative emotions have been studied extensively, whereas adaptive behaviour, positive emotions, and proactive coping did not receive that much attention (cf. Frydenberg 1997; Fredrickson 2001). Furthermore, traditional theories addressing the functions of positive emotions for cognition and behaviour have focused on negative effects of positive emotions, instead of their regulatory benefits (cf. Aspinwall 1998). Educational settings are of specific importance for shaping human self-regulation and development, and students' and teachers' positive emotions can be assumed to be central to attaining these educational goals. However, educational psychology and educational research in general were no exception in neglecting positive emotions. Specifically, whereas students' test anxiety has been studied extensively, positive emotions related to learning and achievement have rarely been analysed. This seems to be true, in spite of the fact that anti-cipatory hope and pride relating to success and failure were deemed key determinants of achievement motivation and task behaviour by traditional theories of achievement moti-vation, along with anticipatory fear and shame (cf. Atkinson 1964; Heckhausen 1980). Studies on achievement motivation included items pertaining to these emotions in global measures of achievement motives, but rarely studied emotions in their own right. Specifically, this pertains to the positive emotions of hope and pride which were only regarded as components of the motive to achieve success. The motive to avoid failure, on' the other hand, has <;:>ften been equated with test anxiety on an operationallevel, having been assessed by test anxiety questionnaires in many studies (Atkinson 1964). Concerning positive emotions relating to learning, instruction, and achievement, the only major tradi-tion of research addressing such emotions directly was attributional theory originating from Bernard Weiner's programme of research on achievement emotions (cf. Weiner 1985). This research produced a sizable number of studies analysing links between causal attributions of success andJailure, and a variety of positive achievement-related emotions.