Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Elizabeth Shoenfelt (Director), Dr. Reagan Brown, Dr. Steven Wininger

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


What motivates one to write a thesis? This study assessed whether presenting one’s master’s thesis proposal at a thesis colloquium increased the probability of Industrial/Organizational I/O) Psychology graduate students completing their thesis on time (i.e., finishing their thesis as they finished their graduate coursework). This study also examined the relationship between presenting one’s thesis proposal at a thesis colloquium and different forms of motivated regulation and three basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness).

Participants included 94 master’s level I/O Psychology alumni from four universities. As expected, students who presented at a thesis colloquium had a higher rate of on-time thesis completion. Students who presented at a thesis colloquium also reported a higher level of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation toward their thesis, and a lower level of amotivation toward their thesis compared to students who did not present at a colloquium. Reported level of relatedness toward individuals who helped work on the thesis was higher for those who presented at a thesis colloquium than for those who did not present. However, there were no differences between those who did or did not present at a colloquium in terms of reported competence and autonomy.


Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Personality and Social Contexts