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THE ROLE OF SELF- PROTECTION IN UNDERGRADUATE ACHIEVEMENT By Carlos Moreno Dr. Scott Roberts & Dr. Charles Stangor Mentors.

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Presentation on theme: "THE ROLE OF SELF- PROTECTION IN UNDERGRADUATE ACHIEVEMENT By Carlos Moreno Dr. Scott Roberts & Dr. Charles Stangor Mentors."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE ROLE OF SELF- PROTECTION IN UNDERGRADUATE ACHIEVEMENT By Carlos Moreno Dr. Scott Roberts & Dr. Charles Stangor Mentors

2  Improvements and Innovations  Overall Performance Course Content Critical Thinking Communication Skills  Key Variables: Demographics Expectations Perception of learning experiences Purpose?

3 We can’t?!  “High school graduates from low- and moderate-income families are much less likely than those from higher- income families to enroll in college, and the gaps in completion rates are even larger. Unfortunately, this very real problem has led some observers to the unwarranted conclusion that people who do not have strong academic preparation, who do not have the required financial resources, or who are unfamiliar with the expectations and requirements of colleges and universities should not pursue postsecondary education” (College Board, 2010; p.8).

4 Why is it important?  Individual Approach to the Problem!  Cognitive Processes  Self-Protection  Goal Orientation  Expectation

5 Background  Goal Orientation:  Ego Orientation Outperforming others  Task Orientation Great effort during task  Mutually Exclusive? Source: Martin et al., 2003.; Norem and Cantor, 1986a, 1986b; Norem, 2000.

6 Ability v. Self Worth  Self-Worth Motivation Theory  Martin V. Covington  Ability = Self-Worth Low ability reduces self-worth Protect! Source: Convington, 1992

7 Self-Protecting Strategy  Defensive Pessimism  Low Expectations  Coping with Anxiety Successful Performance  Goal Orientation Ego-Orientated & Task Orientated – Ability is important! Source: Martin et al., 2003.; Norem and Cantor, 1986a, 1986b; Norem, 2000.

8 Low Expectations?  Self-Fulfilling Prophecy  Robert Merton – 20 th Century Sociologist  What Happens?  Individuals’ expectations alter actions Fulfilling the expectations! Source: Robert Merton, 1949

9 Purpose of Study  Investigate the defensive strategy of students  Defensive Pessimism vs. Self-Fulfilling Prophecy  Key Characteristics:  Demographics: Asian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander Black or African American White (non-Hispanic) Hispanic* Mexican or Mexican American Puerto Rican Other Latino or Hispanic

10 Main Question  Main Question  How do defensive pessimism styles and behaviors effect Hispanic and Blacks or African Americans students compared to Whites, and Asians, Asian Americans, or Pacific Islanders?

11 Hypothesis  Blacks or African Americans and Hispanics have higher levels of defensive pessimism than Whites and Asians, Asian Americans, or Pacific Islanders that negatively affect their academic performance.

12 Sample  Census/Convenience Sample (N=1086)  Four Psychology Courses  Characteristic of the sample  Race/Ethnicity  Socioeconomic status  Current GPA  Expected Grade

13 Psychology Courses  PSYC100 Introduction to Psychology- A basic introductory course, intended to bring the student into contact with the major problems confronting psychology and the more important attempts at their solution  PSYC200 Statistical Methods in Psychology- A basic introduction to quantitative methods used in psychological research  PSYC221 Social Psychology- The influence of social factors on the individual and on interpersonal behavior. Includes topics such as conformity, attitude change, person perception, interpersonal attraction, and group behavior  PSYC300 Research Methods in Psychology Laboratory- A general introduction and overview to the fundamental theoretical, conceptual, and practical issues in psychological research in both the laboratory and the field

14 Instrumentation and Data Collection  Beginning of Semester Survey, Spring 2012  Mid-semester Survey, Spring 2012  Sample Questions: What is your racial or ethnic Identification? 1) American Indian or other Native American 2) Asian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander 3) Black or African American 4) White (non-Hispanic) 5) Mexican or Mexican American 6) Puerto Rican 7) Other Hispanic or Latino/a 8) Multiracial 9) Other 10) I prefer not to respond

15 Key Questions to Determine Defensive Pessimism or Other Predictions 2012 Mid-semester survey: Students from PSYC 100, 200, 221, 300 What is your Current GPA? 1.D 2.C- 3.C 4.C+ 5.B- 6.B 7.B+ 8.A- 9.A 10.A+ What do you expect to receive in the class? 1.D 2.C- 3.C 4.C+ 5.B- 6.B 7.B+ 8.A- 9.A 10.A+

16 Data Analysis  SPSS Software  Descriptive and Inferential (ANOVA) Statistics

17 Results: Demographics 65% 12% 6% 17% N=558

18 Results: Self-Reported Current GPA N= 721 M= 6.72 SD =2.142 Median= 7.0

19 Results: Self-Reported Current GPA by Ethnicity/ Race Background3478

20 Results: Expected Grade N= 709 M= 7.51 SD =1.719 Median= 8.0

21 Results: Expected Grade by Ethnicity/ Race Background

22 Expectation Type: Mean Difference (Expectation Type: Expected Grade - Current GPA). Pessimistic Optimistic Realistic

23 Expectation Type: Mean Difference By Ethnicity/ Race Background Mean Difference Between Expected Grade and Current GPA by Ethnicity/Race (Expectation Type: Pessimistic, Realistic, Optimistic)

24 Type of Student

25 Distribution for mean difference expectation (  Expected Grade & Current GPA) by type of student. Pessimistic Optimistic

26 Overall Distribution Optimistic Pessimistic

27 Overall Distribution Optimistic Pessimistic

28 Overall Distribution Pessimistic Optimistic

29 Overall Distribution Pessimistic Optimistic

30 Type of Student Distribution for mean difference expectation (  Expected Grade & Current GPA) by type of student. Pessimistic Optimistic

31 Conclusion  Hispanics and Blacks or African Americans  Highest Expectations  Lowest GPA  Whites and Asians, Asian Americans, or Pacific Islanders  Lowest Expectations  Highest GPA

32 Limitations  Limitations  Response Rates  Sample size  Honesty  Label – Latino? Hispanic? Nationality?

33 Future Defensive Strategy by Socioeconomic Status Final Grades Defensive Pessimism vs. Self- Fulfilling Prophecy?

34 Acknowledgements  Mentors  Dr. Scott Roberts  Dr. Charles Stangor  McNair Administrators and Faculty  Dr. Terri Wright  Sachi Edwards  Dr. Bullock  Dr. Lewis  Mary Campton McNair Scholars! AP - Miji Um

35 References College Board. (2010). Education Pays: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society. Retrieved June 12, 2012, from Covington, M. V. (1992). Making the grade: A self-worth perspective on motivation and school reform. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Duda, J. L., & Nicholls, J. G. (1992). Dimensions of achievement motivation in schoolwork and sport. Journal Of Educational Psychology, 84(3), Dweck, C. S., & Leggett, E. L. (1988). A social-cognitive approach to motivation and personality. Psychological Review, 95(2), Martin, A. J., Marsh, H. W., Williamson, A., & Debus, R. L. (2003). Self-handicapping, defensive pessimism, and goal orientation: A qualitative study of university students. Journal Of Educational Psychology, 95(3), National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education. (2012). Postsecondary Graduation Rates. Retrieved June 1, 2012, from the National Center for Education Statistics Web site: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education. (2010). Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups. Retrieved May 21, 2012, from the National Center for Education Statistics Web site: Norem, J.K. (2001). DEFENSIVE PESSIMISM, OPTIMISM, AND PESSIMISM. In E.C. Chang (Ed.) Optimism & pessimism: Implications for theory, research, and practice (pp ). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Norem, J. K., & Cantor, N. (1986a). Anticipatory and post hoc cushioning strategies: Optimism and defensive pessimism in “risky” situations. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 10, 3, Norem, J. K., & Cantor, N. (1986b). Defensive pessimism: Harnessing anxiety as motivation. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, 51(6), Richardson, M., Abraham, C., & Bond, R. (January 01, 2012). Psychological correlates of university students' academic performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 138, 2, White, J., & Lowenthal, P. R. (2011). Minority college students and tacit 'codes of power': Developing academic discourses and identities. Review Of Higher Education: Journal Of The Association For The Study Of Higher Education, 34(2),

36 References  Shultziner, D., & Rabinovici, I. (2012). Human dignity, self-worth, and humiliation: A comparative legal–psychological approach. Psychology, Public Policy, And Law, 18(1),  U.S. Census Bureau. (2012). The 2012 Statistical Abstract: Income, Expenditures, Poverty, and Wealth Retrieved May 18, 2012, from  U.S. Census Bureau. (2011). Hispanic Heritage Month 2011: Sept Oct. 15. Retrieved from facts_for_features_special_editions/cb11-ff18.htmlhttp://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/

37   Phone: Contact Information

38  Questions?

39 U.S. Census Stats U.S. Census Bureau. (2012). The 2012 Statistical Abstract: Income, Expenditures, Poverty, and Wealth Retrieved May 18, 2012, from

40 College Board  Academic Achievement by Race/ Ethnicity  Enrollment  Retention Rates  Graduation Rates Found: College Board. (2010). Education Pays: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society. Retrieved June 12, 2012, from ys_2010.pdf 010.pdf

41 Self-Esteem  Self-Esteem Literature  Schmader, T., Major, B., & Gramzow, R. H. (January 01, 2001). Coping with Ethnic Stereotypes in the Academic Domain: Perceived Injustice and Psychological Disengagement. Journal of Social Issues, 57, 1,  Latinos/as and Blacks or African Americans - negatively stereotype Self-esteem is on average equal or higher than Whites

42 Expectation  Where is the base line?  Current GPA Positive: Optimistic Zero: Realistic Negative: Pessimistic Only expectation = There is not form to give a numerical representation Then everyone would be optimistic

43 Why?  Students should achieve there full potential  GPA – Value of 7 (Base line)  Expectation – Value of 6 or 5  Values of 6 is higher than 5 but they are both pessimistic

44 Optimism  Strategic Optimism  Offers an informative contrast to defensive pessimism  Definition: Individual who set high expectations; avoid thinking about negative outcomes; refers as “positive illusions” Source: Norem, J.K. (2001). DEFENSIVE PESSIMISM, OPTIMISM, AND PESSIMISM. In E.C. Chang (Ed.) Optimism & pessimism: Implications for theory, research, and practice (pp ). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


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