Western Undergraduate Psychology Journal

Article Title

The Effects of Social Psychological Concepts on Academic Performance


Stereotype threat, motivation, self-handicapping, and self-esteem are factors that are found to affect student education and academic ability. The following literature review examines each factor individually and addresses the costs and benefits relating to education. Stereotype threat and self-handicapping are found to affect academic performance negatively. Intrinsic and extrinsic types of motivation are also found to influence academic ability. Intrinsic motivation serves as a positive influence, while extrinsic motivation is found to affect academic ability negatively. The type of motivation a student develops depends on the learning environment of the student, including the type of encouragement or pressure a student receives from parents, teachers, and peers. Different levels of self-esteem in students are also related to different levels of achievement, academic perseverance, and social anxiety. The factors examined in this literature review address concerns for biased and unsupportive classrooms. It also considers future implications of this psychological research to improve student education and promote more successful learning environments.

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