A New AI Research from China Combines Machine-Learning Methods with Questions to Reveal New Dimensions in the Connections between Supervisor-Student Relationships

The supervisor-student relationship has a profound impact on creativity. A harmonious supervisor-student relationship is a basis for knowledge transfer and innovations, while a bad supervisor-student relationship mitigates the negative effects of the power stereotype threat. The researchers have designed two studies to explore the emotional mechanism in the supervisor-student relationship. Researchers collected data from 74 East China Normal University postgraduates and selected 16 participants according to their questionnaire data targeting those who reported difficulties in their supervisor-student relationships. Researchers experimented in two stages: interview conversation under three topics (self-introduction topic, supervisor topic, and campus life topic) and a questionnaire evaluation. 

In Study 1, researchers used the facial emotion detection method to analyze the emotional features from the recorded video frames. The Multi-Task Convolutional Neural Network (MTCNN) and VGG19 neural network were used for facial detection and emotional recognition, respectively. Through this study, researchers observed that the frequency of negative dynamic performance significantly increased in the supervisor topic and also identified a distinct negative mood swing when transitioning from self-introduction to the supervisor topic.

Study 2 investigates the emotional mechanism by which the supervisor-student relationship influences creativity. The student-supervisor relationship is a multidimensional structure influenced by teaching and interpersonal relationships. Hypotheses are proposed to examine the relationships between supervisor-student relationship, power stereotype threat, emotional labor, and creativity. The researchers utilized a Structural Equation Model (SEM) to investigate the connections between variables. The questionnaire included measurements for supervisor-student relationships, power stereotype threat, emotional labor, and creativity. They collected 592 valid questionnaires from the postgraduate students(53.7% male and 46.3% female, ranging from 21 to 29 years old). The results revealed that a good student-supervisor relationship reduced power stereotype threat. Power stereotype threat influenced emotional labor, where surface acting had a negative impact on creativity, while deep acting had a positive effect. These findings support the proposed hypotheses. 

To enhance creativity, supervisors should focus on emotional mechanisms, such as power stereotype threat, surface acting, and deep acting. Institutions should strengthen the training and assessment of postgraduate supervisors, while at the same time, students should actively engage in the relationship and express their ideas. The researchers believe future works should explore casual relationships and consider relevant factors to gain more accurate results.

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