How Do Honor Society Members Differ?

Primary Focus

Several former national research projects found that students who indicated they were honor society members (i.e., in Psi Beta) outperformed non-honor society students on several measures. While this finding might simply be a confound (i.e., students of higher ability and academic motivation join honor societies and, therefore, do a little better academically). However, we don’t really know if that explains the differences found. Certainly, being active in an honor society can contribute to academic success – or can it? There is little, if any, research on this topic. In summary, this study will investigate some differences between honor society and non-honor society students who attend a community college. The independent variables will be 1) honor society member or not, and for students who are members of one or more honor societies, 2) the level of activity in the honor society, and 3) the length of membership in an honor society. You’ll want to formulate several hypotheses to guide your research using the data produced by this study. Also, now is a good time to begin a literature search for the report you’ll need to write and/or poster you prepare based on your participation and your hypotheses.

List of Measures 

  • Honor Society Engagement
  • School Engagement Scale
  • Belongingness
  • Academic Self-Efficacy
  • Sense of Purpose and Meaning
  • GRIT
  • Subjective Happiness
  • Loneliness
  • Demographic variables will be included near the research questionnaire’s end

Click Here to download an annotated bibliography for the above measures.


Register to Participate – to register, please email Todd Joseph at Be sure to include the following information in your email:
– Advisor name
– College name
– IRB status (will you rely on our IRB, or seek your own IRB approval?)
NOTE: if your chapter registered and participated in last year’s National Research Study, your chapter already is registered for this year’s study.

Supporting Documents (click on each to download)

Administration of Study

We will send the link to the research questionnaire only to registered chapters.

Important note: We will not share participant names & college information with any participating chapter – so if you plan to award extra credit to your participants, please devise a plan to gather that information locally – thank you.


Data collection has begun – effective October 5th, 2023. Data gathering will end on February 15, 2024. February 15 at 11:59 pm PST is a firm deadline, so please plan ahead. Participating chapters will be expected to recruit a minimum of 30 participants, all of whom are currently attending a community college and who are in a community college honor society or who are not in a community college honor society. Please do not recruit participants whose primary institution is a 4-year university with the exception of former honor students at your college who have transferred to a four-year program. 

The raw data file will be shared with all participating chapters on February 20, 2024. A few days after February 20, 2024 the National Study Research Committee will post information to a) help you clean and prepare the raw data file, b) conduct statistical analyses of your clean data file, c) prepare a poster or paper about your study.


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