Psi Beta National Research Project 2015-16

This Spring students from 8 Psi Beta chapters participated in the National Research Project. Students from American River College, Blinn College, Collin College, Henry Ford College, Irvine Valley College, Lehigh Carbon College, and Quinsigamond College collected online data from 504 students regarding Academic Self-Regulation, Happiness, and Mindset. While there is evidence that students who are happier and whom hold a growth mindset Prior research found that Self-Regulation in college students predicted later success (Cohen, 2012). Students who are better at self-regulation have been shown to recall a greater amount of lecture material, have better study strategies, and do better in classes (Cohen, 2012). Research on academic success and happiness finds that students who report greater happiness and life satisfaction are more successful in high school and college (Lyubomirsky & Lepper, 1999). This research hoped to extend prior studies to relate to community college student. In this study, chapters hoped to examine the level of self-regulation in these students and any relationships between this self-regulation, happiness, and mindset. The hypothesis of this study is that students with a growth (incremental) mindset perspective concerning intelligence, compared to students with an entity (fixed) mindset perspective, will have a higher level of academic self-regulation. Additionally, academic self-regulation will be found to have a positive correlation with happiness and satisfaction with life.

Looking at the preliminary results, as predicted, there was a relationship between mindset and academic self-regulation and happiness. Students who scored higher on the mindset scale (representing and growth mindset) had better regulation of academic goals and reported an overall higher level of happiness. Happiness was also related to better academic self-regulation, as predicted. While there was some relationship to life satisfaction and mindset and academic self-regulation, no significant relationship was found, possibly due to the higher levels of satisfaction reported in general.

This data represents a first look at how mindset is related to academic and personal variables for community college students. Future research may wish to expand this sample and look for other markers of success to account for the high levels of satisfaction students reported. Students and Chapters participating in this research project will be able to analyze this data further in the coming months and present those findings at regional and national conferences.

By Katherine Wickes

Print article Print article