Undergraduate Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 2014

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Patrick Brown

Abstract

Mental Contrasting (MC) is a self-regulating strategy in which one identifies a goal, visualizes a positive outcome, and then considers a current personal obstacle to that goal. Agency thinking signals an individual’s confidence in her ability to execute the necessary goal-directed behaviours (Snyder, 2002). 99 university students selected an academic goal and conducted either a MC or control exercise. Subjects completed agency scales before and after treatment and goal commitment scales following treatment. How does Mental Contrasting impact students’ sense of agency and commitment toward an academic goal? It was hypothesized that goal commitment scores would be greater for the MC group than for the control group, and that the treatment would not produce a change in agency scores from pre-test to post-test. The control group reported higher goal commitment scores, and both groups’ agency scores increased following their MC or Control exercise, with no significant difference between the two groups.

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