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Dear Advisors
This is an overview of the entire 2017-18 research project.
To download the research files produced by this study, please scroll (far) down to the file download link. 

Background information for the 2017-18 research project – This study examined the relationship between mindset, academic self-entitlement, and grit in community college students. Previous studies have focused on the effects of academic self-entitlement on undergraduate and graduate students at Universities and their relation to student success. Few studies have been done on the relationship between academic self-entitlement and markers of academic success or hardiness, such as grit, using a community college sample. We believe that students who have a higher degree of academic self-entitlement will have a lower grit score based on Angela Duckworth’s grit scale, a predictor of academic success. This research examined those relationships as well as ties to demographic factors such as age and daily habits.  This study will also look at other social and personality variables related to grit and potentially academic success. In particular, this study examined personality variables of narcissism and happiness in relation to grit and self-entitlement.  Additionally, we looked at the behavioral variable of social media use and its relationship to both academic self-entitlement and grit and to narcissism.

EXAMPLES OF HYPOTHESES – (these are examples; many other hypotheses are possible)
– Students with higher levels of GRIT, compared to students with lower GRIT scores, will have lower scores on the academic self-entitlement scale.
– Happiness and narcissism will be inversely related.

TARGET POPULATION FOR PARTICIPATING PSI BETA CHAPTERS – Students enrolled at a community college aged 18 or older.

RESEARCH PARTICIPANT SAFEGUARDS – The 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 did not include deception but did include informed consent and a debriefing message at the end of the online questionnaire. None of the measures used in this study were 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 emailed Psi Beta’s Executive Director ( and requested to participate by January 30th, 2018.
2. Each participating chapter submitted complete data from at least 30 participants prior to the deadline of March 16, 2018.

Downloads –

Source of Measures – The following measures were included in this research study. The citations are where you can find the journal article describing each measure.

  • Subjective Happiness scale – Lyubomirsky & Lepper (1999)
  • The Academic Entitlement Questionnaire – Kopp, Zinn, Finney, & Jurich (2011)
  • The GRIT Scale – Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, & Kelly (2007)
  • Narcissism – Jones & Paulhus (2014)
  • Mindset for Intelligence – Dweck (2008)


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.

  • Chan, T. H. (2014). Facebook and its effects on user’s empathic social skills and life satisfaction: a double-edged sword. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 17(5), 276-280.
  • Duckworth, A. L., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2017). The science and practice of self-control. Perspectives in Psychological Science, 12(5), 715-718.
  • 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.
  • Dweck, C. S., (2008). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Ballantine Books: NY.
  • Fox, J., Rooney, M. C. (2015). The dark triad and trait self-objectification as predictors of men’s use and self-presentation behaviors on social networking sites. Personality and Individual Differences, 76, 161-165.
  • Greenberger, E., Lessard, J. Chen, C., & Farruggia, S. P. (2008). Self-entitled college students: contributions of personality, parenting, and motivational factors. Journal of Youth Adolescence, 27, 1193-1204.
  • Jones, D. N., & Paulhus, D. L. (2014). Introducing the short dark triad (SD3): a brief measure of dark personality traits. Assessment, 21(1), 28-41.
  • Kopp, J. P., Zinn, T. E., Finney, S. J., & Jurich, D. P. (2011). The development and evaluation of the academic entitlement questionnaire. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 44(2), 105-129.
  • Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H. S. (1999). A measure of subjective happiness: Preliminary
    reliability and construct validation. Social Indicators Research, 46 (3), 137-155.\


  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 March 16, 2018.
  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 – Click here for the files
    Excel File – raw data (this file contains all responses downloaded from the online questionnaire and might be useful for teaching purposes)
    Excel File 2 – this is an Excel export from the SPSS file (the SPSS file is described immediately below). This Excel file contains all the variables AFTER the reverse coded variables have been recoded. The file also includes the total scores for each scale (see the far right columns). Note: if your college doesn’t have SPSS, look into downloading JASP – it is free and more intuitive than SPSS.
    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 feel free to use all the files mentioned here.
    Codebook – (an annotated copy of the questionnaire) – this Word text version 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 will be corrected before sending your data file to you. That is – the responses to these items will first be reversed. The measures (i.e., scale scores) will then be computed AFTER the items are reverse coded. Do not reverse code them again, or your computations will not match ours and will not be accurate.
  5. Analyze the Data – Local chapters are expected to conduct their own data analyses. 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 described 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.

The 2017-18 study was prepared by Dr. Katherine Wickes and her Psi Beta students at Blinn College, Texas. Dr. Wickes is one of Psi Beta’s past National Presidents. Katherine was a member of APA’s Summit on National Assessment in Psychology (SNAP) and is a current member of APA’s Committee on Associate and Baccalaureate Education (CABE). If you have questions about the study, please contact Dr. Katherine Wickes at

Thank you,

Jerry Rudmann, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Psi Beta

Psi Beta
Certified member of the National Association of College Honor Societies, Affiliate of the American Psychological Association, and Affiliate of the American Psychological Society