Motivational Media and Academic Success
Keywords:Motivation, Academic Performance, Priming.
Motivating students to do well in courses that fail to interest them can be challenging. The current study was designed to assess the potential impact of priming motivational media on academic performance. Students in six sections of introductory psychology courses (n = 128) completed a quiz after watching a 4 minute inspirational video (experimental group, n = 63), or without watching the video (control group, n = 65). The video selected showed scenes of individuals pushing their limits in all aspects of life and a commentary of a motivational commencement speech by Arnold Schwarzenegger given to college graduates. After completing the quiz participants were given a survey with questions pertaining to their motivation, positive and negative emotions, demographics, and their reactions to the video. Students who were primed by the video reported greater academic motivation and planned to study more for the next quiz than students who did not watch the video. Females reported lower GPA and lower positive emotions in the experimental condition. While there was not an overall effect of the video on quiz scores, male students who watched the video performed 10% better on the quiz than males in the control condition. Implications of these findings suggest that motivational information may be beneficial in inspiring academic performance in certain circumstances.
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