Purdue University Graduate School
Fortney Thesis Final.pdf (624.26 kB)
Download file

Everyone Wants an "A": The Role of Academic Expectations in Academic Performance

Download (624.26 kB)
posted on 2019-10-16, 16:04 authored by Sarah Katherine FortneySarah Katherine Fortney
Expectations are a key aspect of human success and behavior that predict outcomes in a variety of settings, including academics. Trait expectations (e.g., hope and optimism) and previous experiences appear relevant to the formation of specific expectations. Specific expectations predict outcomes, with positive expectations predicting better outcomes. In academics, positive specific expectations predict improved academic performance; however, there are aspects of this relationship that are unclear. This study sought to examine the formation of specific academic expectations and the relationship between these expectations and academic performance. The current study aimed to replicate previous research about the unique influences of academic expectations, expand this knowledge by examining possible mechanisms of the relationship between academic expectations and academic performance, and test how previous academic experience affected this relationship. Results of this study showed that previous GPA and optimism, but not hope, predicted academic expectations. Academic expectations predicted academic performance, but this relationship was not mediated by study time or stress. Finally, previous GPA moderated the relationship between academic expectations and academic performance, such that the positive association between academic expectations and academic performance was stronger for those with poorer prior performance.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Psychological Sciences

Campus location

  • Indianapolis

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Kevin Rand

Additional Committee Member 2

Jesse Stewart

Additional Committee Member 3

Melissa Cyders

Usage metrics