J. Don Mitchell

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Elizabeth Erffmeyer, Richard Miller, John O'Connor


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Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


This research assessed the effects of realistic previews on student attitudes, student attrition rates, classroom expectations, and student performance. Required and elective courses, both upper level and lower level, were chosen for the study. During the first meeting of the course, students in the experimental group randomly received either a realistic or a traditional preview of their course. Students in the control group received no preview of any type during the first meeting of the course. After reading the preview booklet, students in both groups were asked to predict their final grades in the course and to answer a short questionnaire assessing certain attitudinal variables of interest. Toward the end of the semester, the questionnaire was administered a second time to each group. Actual final grades were collected at the end of the semester. Course previews were found to affect student's initial attitudes toward the course and subject matter, and to affect satisfaction with the instructor. Previews were also found to interact with course level and course type to further impact student’s initial classroom expectations, initial attitudes toward the course, and later satisfaction with the course, instructor and subject matter.


Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences