Not just who you are, but who you were before: social identification, identity incompatibility and performance-undermining learning behaviour in higher education

Lillian Smyth, Kenneth I. Mavor, Louie Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

The current study builds on links between academic social identification and learning behaviours and extends these models by also considering the level of compatibility between the student identity and the pre‐existing self‐concept. This is a crucial extension, in the context of broadening access to higher education and fostering belonging and learning in nontraditional students. Further, where previous work focused on learning behaviours that enhance performance (often learning approaches), we also consider performance‐undermining behaviours (self‐handicapping and procrastination). These effects are explored in survey responses from an undergraduate student sample (N = 121) from UK and broader European samples. Participants were predominantly female (69%) and native English speakers (87%). Three models of the relationships between these variables were tested using Mplus. Results indicate that performance‐undermining behaviours are predicted by identity incompatibility, but not identification level; deep learning approaches are predicted by identification level, but not identity incompatibility. This provides first evidence that identity incompatibility is not just a moderator of the identification‐learning relationships but, in fact, a separate identity process for consideration. We also present initial evidence for a mediation model, where in the identity variables are related to procrastination and self‐handicapping via learning approaches.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Community and Applied Social Psychology
VolumeEarly View
Early online date30 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 May 2019

Keywords

  • Higher education
  • Identity compatibility
  • Procrastination
  • Self-handicapping
  • Social identity

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