The why of university for students: Motivational mindsets and guided reflection on life goals

CLI Research Projects
Pictured: Job Hudig

Job Hudig’s research had two aims: 1) to examine a potential mechanism of the goal-setting intervention, and 2) to elucidate as to why the intervention would specifically decrease the achievement gaps. On this page you will read more about his research and the results.

An online narrative goal-setting intervention boosted academic performance among 703 first-year Business Administration students at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam (Schippers, Scheepers, & Peterson, 2015). Findings from the intervention cohort demonstrated that the gender achievement gap closed by 98 percent after the first year and the ethnic achievement gap closed by 93 percent after the second year. While numeral suggestions have been mentioned in the goal-setting intervention studies, a definitive answer to what caused the positive intervention-effect on academic performance is still lacking.

Job’s research therefore had two aims: 1) to examine a potential mechanism of the goal-setting intervention, and 2) to elucidate as to why the intervention would specifically decrease the achievement gaps. To reach these aims, Job conducted a preliminary study at baseline in which he explored several new types of motivational profiles. Subsequently, he tested his proposed mechanism of the intervention while tracking the developments within the gender and ethnic subgroups. Ultimately, on the basis of the findings that evolved from his systematic approach, he made claims about how the goal-setting intervention closed the gender and ethnic achievement gap. Job worked on his research at the Department of Psychology, Education, and Child Studies of the Erasmus School of Behaviorial and Social Sciences.

Deliverables

Hudig, J. (2023). The why of university for students. [Doctoral dissertation, Erasmus University Rotterdam]. https://pure.eur.nl/en/publications/the-why-of-university-for-students-motivational-mindsets-and-guid

Hudig, J., Scheepers, A. W. A., Schippers, M. C., & Smeets, G. (2023). Goalsetting is mindsetting: Guided reflection on life goals taps into the plasticity of motivational mindsets. Psychological Reports, 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1177/00332941231180813

Hudig, J., Scheepers, A. W. A., Schippers, M. C., & Smeets, G. (2022). Motivational mindsets, mindset churn and academic performance: The role of a goal-setting intervention and purpose in life. Current Psychology, 1, 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1007/S12144-022-03462-8

Hudig, J., Scheepers, A. W. A., Schippers, M. C., & Smeets, G. (2021). Motives for studying and student wellbeing: Validation of the motivational mindset model. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 753987. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.753987

Hudig, J., Scheepers, A. W. A., Schippers, M. C., & Smeets, G. (2020). Motivational mindsets and reasons for studying: Development and validation of a classification tool. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 535801. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.535801

Read the Thesis here

Dr. Job Hudig PhD defence: The Why of University for Students

More information

This research is done as part of the four-year research program on educational quality and study success. The CLI is funding a part of these research projects. View more.

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