Date of Award

5-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Psychology

Advisor

Britt, Thomas W

Committee Member

Raymark , Patrick

Committee Member

Rosopa , Patrick J

Abstract

The present study proposed a moderated mediation model involving the personality variables of core self-evaluations (CSE) and need for achievement (nAch), and the motivational state of engagement as predictors of task performance. CSE was hypothesized to interact with nAch to predict two domains of engagement, such that higher scores in measures of both variables would lead to increased performance in these domains. The narrow domain was represented by a single psychology test, and the broad domain referred to overall academic engagement and performance, as measured by cumulative GPA. CSE was also hypothesized to be directly related to performance in these same domains. Usable surveys were collected from five-hundred ninety-four undergraduate students; test score was available for 95% of the participants, although GPA was only accessible for 27% of the sample. The results suggested that the hypothesized CSE*nAch interaction was not significant; the direct CSE- performance relationship was also not supported by the results. Engagement was only related to performance in the general academic domain; this domain was also the only one in which the CSE-engagement relationship reached statistical significance. Possible explanations for the findings are presented, followed by limitations of the study and implications of the results. Lastly, suggestions are made for future research in this area.

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