The Relationship Between Instructor Feedback and Student Optimism
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Many college freshmen find the transition from high school to college difficult. These difficulties might stem from differences in students' personalities, as some optimistic students might underestimate the difficulty of college and other pessimistic students might overestimate the difficulty. These biased expectations can lead students to experience dissatisfaction with their learning environment. Students' satisfaction may be based on many factors, including the curriculum and classroom size, but perhaps most importantly the interaction between the instructor and students. The present investigation was particularly focused on the relationship between students' optimism, their perception of instructor teaching style and student satisfaction and achievement. Participants (n = 78) completed the study in partial fulfillment of their psychology course. Participants completed the LOT-R (Life Orientation Test-Revised), a measure of individual optimism and pessimism. They also rated the teaching style of their instructor, their sense of control over the course, sense of intrinsic interest, satisfaction with the school and course, and reported their grades in the course. The results of this study showed that the frequency with which the instructor was perceived as using authoritarian methods was associated with worse performance on the first exam and greater ratings of course difficulty.
Atchison, Amisha (2010). The Relationship Between Instructor Feedback and Student Optimism. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from