Data Files Ready – National Research Project (2016-17)

Dear Psi Beta advisors, officers, and members…
Below are the instructions for participating in the national research project for 2016-17.
NEW as of March 6, 2017 – the research files from this study can be downloaded from links provided below (far below)!

AREA OF INVESTIGATION – The study will explore the relationship between academic self-regulation, GRIT, happiness, gratitude and appreciation.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS – To what extent do today’s community college freshmen students demonstrate academic self-regulation? Is academic self-regulation related to GRIT, happiness, or gratitude? Do these factors (self-regulation, GRIT, happiness, gratitude) vary when sorted by geographic region, sex, age, or ethnic group? Is gratitude the same or different than appreciation?

EXAMPLES OF SEVERAL HYPOTHESES – (these are examples; other hypotheses are possible)
• Students with higher levels of GRIT, compared to students with lower GRIT scores, will score higher on self-regulation.
• There will be a positive correlation between happiness and gratitude?

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 Blinn College (TX) has approved this study. The study satisfies the APA’s research ethical guidelines for proper and safe treatment of human participants. The study does not include deception, but does include informed consent and a (optional) debriefing procedure. None of the measures used in this study are of a highly sensitive nature, but steps will be taken to assure the anonymity of all participants.

1. Apply – Each Psi Beta chapter’s primary advisor should email Psi Beta’s Executive Director ( and request to participate by January 30th, 2017.
2. Each chapter must submit complete data from at least 30 participants (more than 30 is great!until February 28, 2017 – when the data collection period ends.


  • Instructor recruitment script for help recruiting participants
  • Informed Consent [Note: Participants should read this form first. Then, when they begin the online research questionnaire, they will be asked to indicate their agreement to the conditions and risks of participating in this study.]
  • Debrief script
  • IRB Approval from Blinn College (if your campus has an IRB, you may need to acquire its approval).
  • Paper version of the research questionnaire. Items breakdown:
    • Item 1: Informed Consent
    • Items 2 – 12: Academic Self-Efficacy Scale
    • Items 13 – 16: Subjective Happiness Scale
    • Items 17 – 28: GRIT Scale
    • Items 29 – 34: Gratitude Scale
    • Items 35 – 39: Appreciation Scale
    • Items 40 – 46: Demographic questions
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Some items on some of the scales used in the research questionnaire require reverse coding. Please note that once the data gathering period ends on February 28, 2017, Psi Beta will reverse code these items before sending the data file out to participating chapters. We will let you know which items required reverse coding and WE will perform the reverse coding prior to releasing the data file.

Source of Measures – The following measures are included in this year’s research study:
The General Appreciation Scale – Tucker (2007)
The Gratitude Questionnaire – Six Item Form (GQ-6) – McCullough, Emmons, & Tsang (2002)
The 12 item Grit Scale – Duckworth, Peterson, Matthew, & Kelly (2007)
Self-Efficacy for Self-Regulated Learning scale – Zimmerman, Bandura, & Martinez-Pons (1992)
Subjective Happiness scale – Lyubomirsky & Lepper (1999)


The following are “seed articles” for starting your chapter’s literature review. These are good articles for getting started, but you should locate and read additional articles for developing an adequate, thorough, and current  literature review for this study.

  • Duckworth, A.L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M.D., & Kelly, D.R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and
    passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9, 1087-1101.
  • Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H. S. (1999). A measure of subjective happiness: Preliminary
    reliability and construct validation. Social Indicators Research, 46 (3), 137-155.
  • McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., & Tsang, J. (2002). The grateful disposition: A
  • conceptual and empirical topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 112-127.
  • Tucker, K.L. (2007). Getting the most out of life: An examination of appreciation, targets
    of appreciation, and sensitivity to reward in happier and less happy individuals.
    Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 26, 791-825.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  1. Recruit Participants – Sample the population of students 18 and older at your college. The data collection period for Psi Beta chapters will be until February 28, 2017.
  2. 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:
  3. If Appropriate, Gather Participant Information Locally – 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. You could, for example, have participants report to a computer lab, sign in on a paper form, then participate in the study by completing the online version of the research questionnaire.
  4. Research Files After March 5, 2017 the following files will be made available to participating Psi Beta chapters. Request these files from Links to the research database:
    Excel File – raw data (this file contains all responses downloaded from the online questionnaire and might be useful for teaching purposes)
    Excel File – cleaned up data (this file contains cleaned up data and computed scale scores for all measures, e.g., GRIT, Gratitude, etc.)
    SPSS – this is a SPSS data file having all data and computed scale scores for all measures. Participating chapters (those that submitted data from at least 30 participants) –  please send a request for this file to Jerry Rudmann. Email: 
    Codebook – (an annotated copy of the questionnaire) – this PDF is a copy of the online questionnaire. It lists items used to compute the measures, and identifies the “reverse coded” items that are in the questionnaire.
    NOTE: The responses to all reverse-coded items have been corrected. That is – the responses to these items have been reversed. The measures (i.e., scale scores) were computed AFTER the items were reverse coded. Do not reverse code them again, or your computations will not match ours and will not be accurate.
    NOTE 2: From the original raw data file, 23 cases were removed because the participants did not agree to the consent form. Another six cases were removed because the participant reported he/she was under the required age of 18 years. Data from another two participants were removed because one reported an age of 99 (possible, but unlikely) and another 457 (unlikely). 
  5. 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.
  6. 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