The effects of self-esteem and expectancies for success on affective reactions to achievement

Robert M. Midkiff, Jr.1, Felicia A. Griffin1
1Bucknell University, United States
Cite this article:  Midkiff, Jr., R. M., & Griffin, F. A. (1992). The effects of self-esteem and expectancies for success on affective reactions to achievement. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 20(4), 273-282.

Volume 20 Issue 4 | e693 | Published: November 1992 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1992.20.4.273

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Affective reactions to academic performance appear to be influenced by performance outcome, self-esteem, and causal attributions. We investigated whether expectancies for success and the confirmation or disconfirmation of expectancies also influenced students’ affective reactions and causal attributions in achievement settings. Participants were 132 university students. Causal attributions and affective reactions to an achievement-related situation were assessed and related to students’ self-esteem, expectancies for success, and confirmation or disconfirmation of expectancies. Results indicated that causal attributions were related to confirmation or disconfirmation of expectancies for success and to self-esteem. Affective reactions were related to the interaction of self-esteem, expectancies for success, and confirmation or disconfirmation of expectancies. Further analysis suggested that students’ affective reactions to performance may serve to maintain existing levels of self-esteem. The role of self-referent and other-referent emotions in self-esteem maintenance was also discussed.


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