Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Finkelstein, Lisa M.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Prediction of scholastic success--Illinois; College students--Illinois--Attitudes


The present study examined the extent to which cognitive ability, leader acceptance, motivation to learn, and personality variables predict objective and subjective course performance in a university setting. Two hundred forty-two undergraduates completed measures of cognitive ability, course efficacy, motivation, conscientiousness, openness to experience, and locus of control on the first day of classes. In addition, participants rated their instructors on a series of predetermined adjectives on three separate occasions over the course of the semester: day one, midsemester, and one week prior to final examinations. Objective course performance scores were collected from instructors at the end of the semester in terms of percentage points earned in a course; subjective performance was measured via a scale developed specifically for the present study and collected in the week prior to final examinations. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized model. Results indicated that cognitive ability was a significant predictor of objective course performance. In addition, locus of control was directly related to course efficacy and motivation to learn. Finally, leader acceptance was found to exert a positive influence on objective performance. Exploratory analyses were conducted to evaluate participant ratings of their instructors across the three collection dates. Overall, differences in total leader acceptance scores were significant only for the Time A–Time C comparison. Additional exploratory analyses of leader acceptance scores were conducted based on collected demographic data. Implications for future research, application to a training scenario, and limitations to the present study are discussed.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [118]-127).


161 pages




Northern Illinois University

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