Measuring students’ expectancies for the forthcoming examinations 

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Calculating sepa(ate indices for the self-determination

subscales: Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Motivation Scores on items relating to each of the two subscales were summed independently. High scores indicate, respectively, high levels of intrinsic motivation or low levels of extrinsic motivation. (See Appendix 5, Tables A.47 – A.49 for the descriptive statistics relating to Intrinsic Motivation, and Tables A.SO – 52 for those relating to Extrinsic Motivation.)

Calculating separate indices for the extrinsic subscales:

External, Introjected, and Identified Regulation For testing certain hypotheses it was necessary to obtain separate scores for each level of extrinsic motivation. The scores on items relating to each dimension were summed independently. (See Appendix 4 for individual items.) A high score indicates a low level of External, Introjected, or Identified Regulation respectively. (See Appendix 5, Tables A.53 – A.61 for the descriptive statistics relating to External, Introjected, and Identified Regulation in the various groups.)

Calculating a single index of perceptions of task difficulty for

the present study To obtain an overall perceptions of task difficulty score, the scores on the relevant items were averaged (neither item was reverse-scored). (See Appendix 1, items 65 and 70.) The higher a subjects’ the score the more difficult the course is seen to be by that person. (See Appendix 5, Tables A.68 – A. 70 for the descriptive statistics relating to perceptions of task difficulty in the various groups.)
Personality theorists working in the middle of the twentieth century, including Gordon Allport (1943), Erik Erikson (1950), Erich Fromm (1955), Abraham Maslow (1954), and Carl Rogers (1959), associated the healthy personality with realistic perceptions of the world and oneself. Indeed, after reviewing a large number of existing theories of the healthy personality, Jourard and Landsman (1980) noted that, « The ability to perceive reality as it ‘really is’ is fundamental to effective functioning. It is considered one of the two preconditions to the development of [the healthy personality] » (p. 75).

Normal unrealistic perceptions and expectations

As Irwin (1953), Langer and Roth (1975), and Weinstein (1980) pointed out, most of us appear to be great optimists when thinking about the future, overestimating the likelihood that positive events will happen to us. We also tend to underestimate the likelihood that negative events will happen to us (Dunning & Story, 1991; Kuiper, MacDonald, & Derry, 1983; Perloff & Fetzer, 1986). These suggestions were recently supported by Hoorens (1995) who suggested that we are inclined to believe that our own future will be better than that of others – and that others, rather than ourselves, will be the victims of misfortunes.

Table of Contents :

  • Chapter 1 The Aims of the Study
  • Chapter 2 Method
    • Method used for data collection
    • Composition of the sample
    • The measuring Instruments
    • Measuring students’ expectancies for the forthcoming examinations 
    • Measuring academic achievement
    • Dividing the subjects into realistic and unrealistic groups
    • Measuring students’ confidence relating to their expectancies
    • Measuring students’ ‘wishful thinking’
    • Measuring students’ personal standards
    • Measuring students’ perceptions of significant others’ expectancies
    • Measuring students’ perceptions of the class average
    • Measuring perceptions of the gender of psychology
    • Measuring students’ perceptions of the value of psychology
    • Measuring students’ perceptions of their ability relative to that of their school peers (social comparison)
    • Measuring students’ perceptions oflack of control over their studying
    • Measuring the degree to which students believe they need to improve their study skills
    • Measuring the degree to which students feel they should know everything to be adequately prepared for examinations
    • Preparing an instrument for measuring Locus of Control (internal and external Locus of Control)
    • Preparing an instrument for measuring students’ achievement motivation
    • Preparing an instrument for measuring students’ perceptions of how much effort they expend on their studies
    • Preparing an instrument for measuring Self-determination (Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation)
    • Preparing an instrument for measuring students’ perceptions of their own ability
    • Preparing an instrument for measuring students’ perceptions of task difficulty
    • Preparing an instrument for measuring students’ attributions regarding their academic successes and failures
  • Chapter3 The relations between perceptions, expectations and outcomes
    • The traditional view of the relation between realistic perceptions and mental health
    • Criticism of the traditional view
    • Revival of the traditional view
    • Relations between expectancies and academic achievement
    • Relations between confidence in expectancies and achievement
  • Chapter 4 The influence of expectancies on motivation and effort
    • Relations between expectancies and achievement motivation
    • Relations between expectancies and quality of motivation
    • The impact of quality on quantity of achievement motivation
    • Relations between quality of motivation and effort expenditure
    • Relations between quality of motivation and expectancies
    • Relations between quality of motivation and age
    • Quality of motivation in disadvantaged groups
    • Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation as dual-dimensional
  • Chapter 5 The influence of self-concept of ability
    • The self-concept seen as a unified whole
    • The self-concept viewed as a multidimensional structure
    • Comparison of the influence of the global self-concept and more specific self-concepts on achievement behaviours
    • The self-concept of ability
    • Unrealistic perceptions of ability
    • The interplay of perceptions of ability and task difficulty
  • Chapter 6 The influence of perceptions of others’ expectancies and sex-stereotypes
    • The relations between others’ perceptions and self-perceptions
    • The relations between others’ expectancies and self-expectancies
    • Differences between the sexes in expectancies
  • Chapter 7 Locus of control
  • Chapter 8 Causal attributions
  • Chapter 9 Conclusions
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Great expectations: The relations between expectancies for success and academic achievement

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