Effects of value self-confrontation on values and academic performance of undergraduates Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/3f4628385

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  • This study investigated the following question: If one wants to be a good student and then compares his/her own values with those of good students, will he/she shift values immediately to resemble those of good students, and later improve academic performance? The investigator drew a sample of 237 volunteers of both sexes from a large general psychology class in a land grant university to provide data. A modified two-group pretest-posttest control group design (Campbell & Stanley, 1966) was utilized. Early in the term, groups of students were administered a three-part questionnaire. Part One, the values pretest, consisted of Rokeach's Value Survey, form E (1976, 1973). Part Two was the high or low level of value self-confrontation treatment. High treatment students (a) saw themselves as good students, and (b) compared their own values with those of previously measured good students in the course. Low treatment students (a) saw themselves as unlike high school students, and (b) compared their own values with good-student values misleadingly labelled as those of high school students. Hence, the two treatments differed only in the mind-set of the students toward the source of the comparison values. Part Three consisted of the immediate values posttest and demographic questions. The academic performance measures were the most recent GPA, and regular midterm and final examinations. The analysis was based on two values which historically had best discriminated between good and mediocre students, being self-controlled (important for good students), and pleasure (less important for good students). Analysis consisted of (a) median test using chi square on the posttest value rankings, and (b) one-way analyses of variance on midterm and final examination scores. For high treatment students, the predicted increase in the importance of being self-controlled occurred, but the predicted decline in the importance of pleasure did not. The predicted improvement in academic performance occurred on the final examination, but not on the midterm. Findings tended to support Rokeach's (1973) concentric, cognitive consistency theory of value and behavior change, and have implications for a more firmly grounded model of values education.
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