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The effects of current unsatisfactory performance and evaluative approach on improvement expectancy and commitment to improvement.

Abdulla, Adam; Woods, Ruth

Authors

Adam Abdulla

Ruth Woods



Abstract

This study investigated the effects of current unsatisfactory performance (CUP) on improvement expectancy (IE) and commitment to improvement (CTI). 118 high school students were randomly assigned to consider either current satisfactory performance (CSP) or CUP. In addition, students within each group were randomly assigned to one of two evaluative approaches: 1) dichotomous present-focused evaluation ('Are you succeeding in this area? Or not?'), or 2) historical success scaling ('What is the highest level of success that you have reached in this area?'). It was hypothesised that (relative to CSP) CUP has a negative effect on improvement expectancy (IE). This hypothesis was supported. In addition, the data were consistent with an inconsistent mediation hypothesis according to which CUP has a positive direct effect on CTI but a negative indirect effect through reduced IE. The indirect effect of CUP on CTI was expected to be less negative amongst students engaging in historical success scaling than amongst students engaging in dichotomous present-focused evaluation. Although this was indeed the case, a test of moderated mediation indicated that the conditional indirect effects did not differ statistically. The study helps to illuminate the conflicting effects of CUP on CTI. Findings also have important implications for cognitive-behavioural and solution-focused approaches, both of which champion 'scaling'.

Citation

ABDULLA, A. and WOODS, R. 2021. The effects of current unsatisfactory performance and evaluative approach on improvement expectancy and commitment to improvement. Motivation and emotion [online], 45(2), pages 159-170. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-021-09864-8

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 10, 2021
Online Publication Date Feb 4, 2021
Publication Date Apr 30, 2021
Deposit Date Jan 12, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 5, 2022
Journal Motivation and emotion
Print ISSN 0146-7239
Electronic ISSN 1573-6644
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 2
Pages 159-170
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-021-09864-8
Keywords Unsatisfactory performance; Improvement expectancy; Commitment; School students; Expectancy; Inconsistent mediation; Performance heuristic
Public URL https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/1106645

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