BACKGROUND – This research project supports the research criterion of Psi Beta’s mission: Professional development of students through engagement in research.

WHAT PSI BETA WILL PROVIDE (if your chapter participates) –

  • Access to the research instrument (an online research questionnaire). The questionnaire includes scales and demographic items.
  • A beginning list of references.
  • An informed consent form (it is embedded in the online research questionnaire).
  • Several suggested hypotheses to test. Chapters are encouraged to develop and test additional hypotheses from the final data file.

REASONS TO PARTICIPATE – Individual Psi Beta students, working through their local chapter, can use the data gathered from this project to test several hypotheses, write an APA style report, and prepare and present a poster at a research conference. Data from this study can be used to write an APA-format research paper that could be used to compete for the national research paper award, and to prepare and present a research poster at the APA conference in August 2019.

CHAPTER PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS – The database from this study will be shared with the participating chapters who have complied with the following conditions:

1. The chapter has notified Psi Beta of its intention to participate. Please notify Dr.  Jerry Rudmann at on or before December 15, 2018.
2. The chapter gathers data from a minimum of 30 participants who meet the desired participant profile. Chapters are welcome to gather data from more than 30 participants.
3. The chapter has obtained IRB approval. Chapters at colleges without an IRB in place must comply with the IRB approval obtained at Blinn College, TX.

Several days after the data-gathering period has ended, Psi Beta National will send a link to the advisors and chapter delegates of the participating chapters. That link can be used to download SPSS and Excel versions of the cleaned-up datafile.

DATA SUBMISSION PERIOD – All data must be submitted between November 15, 2018, and no later than February 28, 2019.

RESEARCH DATABASE – The database will be released in two formats: Excel and SPSS. The entire database will be made available by March 10, 2019.

IRB – The Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Blinn Community College has approved this study. For chapters at colleges without an IRB, Blinn’s IRB approval includes participation of all Psi Beta chapters that comply with the participation conditions stipulated here.

MEASURES – The research instrument for this study consists of set of scales developed by researchers who have been studying the extent to which undergraduate students are engaged in college and their courses, experience rapport with their professors, experience rapport with their instructor and how all this relates to the student’s academic self-concept. More specifically, the measures in this year’s study include the following:

  • Student-Instructor Rapport Scale-9 (Lammers & Gillasphy, 2013)
  • Professor Student Rapport Scale (Wilson, Ryan, & Pugh, 2010)
  • Academic Self-Concept Scale (Reynolds, 1980)
  • Teacher Behavior Checklist (Keeley, Smith, & Buskist, 2006)
  • Student Engagement in College (source: Bridgette Hard)
  • Student Engagement in Course (source: Bridgette Hard)

SCRIPTS – The following scripts must be used to standardize the procedure used to gather research data for the study: instructor recruitment script, data-gathering script, and the debriefing script.

HYPOTHESIS – Possible research hypothesis includes:

  • Students with a high academic self-concept will be more engaged in college.
  • The student with a high academic self-concept will report having more rapport with his/her instructor.
  • Students in face-to-face courses, as compared to students in online courses, will report greater rapport with their instructor.

Many other hypotheses about the relationship between measures will be possible to test by using the research data file generated by this study.


Cokley, K, Komarraju, M., Patel, N., Castillon, J., Rosales, R., Pickett, R., Piedrahita, S.,
Ravitch, J., & Pang, L. (2004). Construction and initial validation of the student-
professor interaction scale. The College of Student Affairs Journal, 24(1), 32-49.

Lammers, W. J., & Gillaspy, J. A. (2013) “Brief Measure of Student-
Instructor Rapport Predicts Student Success in Online Courses, International
Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
, 7(2). Available at:

Keeley, J., Smith, D., & Buskist, W. (2006). The teacher behaviors checklist: Factor
Analysis of its utility for evaluating teaching. Teaching of Psychology, 33(2), 84-91.

Keeley, J., Furr, R. M., & Buskist, W. (2009). Differentiating Psychology Students’
Perceptions of Teachers Using the Teacher Behavior Checklist, Teaching of
, 37(1), 16-20. DOI: 10.1080/00986280903426282

Komarraju, M. (2013). Ideal teacher behaviors: Student motivation and self-efficacy
predict preferences. Teaching of Psychology, 40(2), 104-110.  DOI:

Reynolds, W. M. (1980). Measurement of academic self-concept in college students.
Paper presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological
Association, Quebec, Canada.

Webb, N. G., & Barrett, L. O. (2014). Student views of instructor-student rapport in the
college classroom. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 14(2)2,
15 – 28. DOI: 10.14434/josotl.v14i2.4259

Wilson, J. H., Ryan, R. G., & Pugh, J. L. (2010). Professor-student rapport scale
predicts student outcomes. Teaching of Psychology, 37, 246-251.

DATA-ENTRY LINK (have your participants use this link to input their responses to the study questionnaire). Recent research has found that participants who complete online in an un-proctored setting (e.g., home, Starbucks, etc.) tend to be more careless when responding to the questionnaire items. We highly recommend arranging to have your participants report to a proctored computer lab to respond to the online questionnaire. 

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