Date of Award

12-10-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Jackson, Dennis

Keywords

Academic Behaviours, Academic Entitlement, Academic Outcomes, Motivation

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

There has been a recent influx of preliminary research examining Academic Entitlement (AE) and the corresponding implications. However, little is known about the antecedents and outcomes of entitled attitudes on the part of students. Initial findings suggest that those high in AE are more extrinsically motivated and have an external locus of control (Greenberger, Lessard, Chen, & Farruggia, 2008). Self-Determination Theory (SDT) provides a theoretical basis for understanding this constellation of characteristics and may prove useful in curbing AE. According to SDT, diminished levels of intrinsic motivation for tasks and increased non-self-determined motivation results in decreased task persistence, enjoyment in the activity, and performance (Deci & Ryan, 2000; Deci, Koestner, & Ryan, 1999). In the current investigation two studies were conducted to explore the relationships between AE, motivation, and academic performance. In the first study intrinsic motivation and amotivation mediated the relationship between AE and academic performance. Structural equation modeling was used in a second study, where the best fitting model included amotivation as a mediating variable in the relationship between AE and academic performance. This model is discussed as a coping-based model, whereby AE increases amotivation, which then decreases academic performance. The model identified through this work could be used to understand AE attitudes and potentially inform intervention strategies intended to deter AE attitudes and the associated behaviours.

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