National Research Project (2015-16)

Dear Psi Beta advisors, officers, and members…
Below are the instructions for participating in the national research project for 2015-16.

AREA OF INVESTIGATION – The study involves establishment of an academic self-regulation baseline for first year freshmen community college students. The study will also explore the possible relationship between academic self-regulation, mindset, happiness, and satisfaction with life. This research will provide information needed for designing an academic self-regulation brief intervention experiment – the first large scale research experiment ever conducted by Psi Beta – being planned for the 2016-17 national study.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS – To what extent do today’s 2-year college freshmen students demonstrate academic self-regulation? Is self-regulation related to mindset, subjective happiness, or satisfaction with life? Do these factors (e.g., self-regulation, mindset, happiness, and life satisfaction) vary when sorted by geographic region, sex, age, or ethnic group?

• 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.
• Academic self-regulation will be found to have a positive correlation with happiness and satisfaction with life.

TARGET POPULATION FOR PARTICIPATING PSI BETA CHAPTERS – Students enrolled in their first semester (or year) of community college. Participants should also be 18 years or older.

IRB SAFEGUARDS – The Psychology Department’s Institutional Review Board at Irvine Valley College has approved this study. The study satisfies the APA’s research ethical guidelines for proper and safe treatment of human participants.

• Apply – Each Psi Beta chapter’s primary advisor should email Psi Beta’s Executive Director ( and request to participate on or before January 30th, 2016.
• Minimum desired number of cases – Each chapter must submit complete data from at least 30 participants.
• Data collection time frame for Psi Beta – The data collection period is now until February 28, 2016.


Measures – The following measures are included in this year’s research study:
• Goal Orientation scale – Button, Mathieu, & Zajac (1996)
• Mindset scale – Flores, Lemons, & McTerman (2006)
• Satisfaction with Life scale – Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin (1985)
• Self-Efficacy for Self-Regulated Learning scale – Zimmerman, Bandura, & Martinez-Pons (1992)
• Subjective Happiness scale – Lyubomirsky & Lepper (1999)

References for the Measures

Button, S. B., Mathieu, J. E., & Zajac, D. M. (1996). Goal orientation in organizational research:
A conceptual and empirical foundation. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision
Processes, 67, 26-48.

Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction with Life scale.
Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75.

Flores, D., Lemons, A., & McTerman, H. (2006). The correlation between student growth
mindset and conceptual development in physics. Unpublished research report: Arizona State

Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H. S. (1999). A measure of subjective happiness: Preliminary
reliability and construct validation. Social Indicators Research, 46 (3), 137-155.

Zimmerman, B. J., Bandura, A., & Martinez-Pons, M. (1992) Self-motivation for academic
attainment: The role of self-efficacy beliefs and personal goal setting. American Educational
Research Journal, 29, 663-676.

Search and Read the Relevant Literature – Use the following as “seed” articles and books for locating additional articles on the variables and hypotheses being investigated. Suggest starting references are…

Cohen, M. T. (2012). The importance of self-regulation for college student learning. College
Student Journal, 46(4), 892-902.

Duckworth, A. L., Glenler, T. S., & Gross, J. J. Self-control in school-age children. Educational
Psychologist, 49(3), 199-217.

Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset the new psychology of success: How we can learn to fulfill our
potential. New York: Random House Inc.

Mischel, W. (2014). The marshmallow test: Mastering self-control. New York: Little, Brown and

Nist, S. L., Simpson, M. L., & Olejnik, S. (1991). The relation between self-selected study
processes and test performance. American Educational Research Journal, 28, 849-874.

Zimmerman, B. J., & Labuhn, A. S. (2012). Self-regulation of learning: Process approaches to
personal development, in K. R. Harris, S. Graham, & T. Urdan (Editors-in-Chief) APA
Educational Psychology Handbook: Vol. 1. Theories, Constructs, and Critical Issues.
American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

Recruit Participants – You should sample the population of students 18 and older at your college. The data collection period for Psi Beta chapters will be until February 28, 2016.
Have Participants Access this Online Data Submission Portal – Have your participants use this link to log on to the Psi Beta research site and enter their responses. Note: If the link doesn’t work, instruct your participants to cut and paste the following URL into their browser’s URL window and hit the “Enter” key:–LRgqzx5h8ewLc/viewform?c=0&w=1

If Appropriate, Gather Participant Information – If you have arranged for your participants to earn an incentive for their participation (e.g., extra-credit, a chance in a drawing, etc.) be sure to devise a method to obtain their names and contact information so that you can pass this information on to the participants’ instructors. The online questionnaire purposely does not capture personal information such as names and email addresses.

Research Files – After March 5, 2016 the following files will be made available to participating Psi Beta chapters. Request these files from
• Excel File
• SPSS data file
• Preliminary analyses of the data file
• Annotated copy of the research questionnaire

Analyze the Data – Local chapters are expected to conduct their own data analysis. Analyze your data using procedures covered in introductory level statistics courses. Use appropriate statistics to determine response frequencies, averages, and standard deviations. Basic inferential statistics (e.g., correlations, t-tests, and ANOVA) can be used to test your hypotheses.

Write and Present the Findings – Follow the reporting guidelines as in the textbook of your college’s research methods course. If your psychology department doesn’t offer research methods, obtain a copy of a textbook written for an introductory psychology research methods course (e.g., Cozby, 2004). Use your research findings to prepare a research poster to present at a local, regional, or national psychology conference. The Western Psychological Association conference, for example, offers a Psi Beta poster session. The annual meeting of the American Psychological Association also offers a Psi Beta poster session. Psi Beta members can enter their research poster into the annual Psi Beta student research paper competition. Your chapter can also host a research mini-conference – invite a keynote speaker on psychological research (from your own teaching staff or from a local university), then have a student poster session, followed by refreshments.

Jerry Rudmann, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Psi Beta