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Honors Paper

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The current study re-examined Chickering’s (1967) Student Development theory, which suggests student development decreases as academic conditions become constant and the novelty of the academic environment fades. Additionally, the researchers examined whether the need to present a GPA after graduation could be associated with academic motivation, importance, or effort (the academic variables). Through the lens of positive psychology, the researchers also investigated whether a decrease in academic motivation, importance, and effort was detrimental to student happiness and well-being. Major findings among the 43 total participants were: 1, an overall difference in academic variables between freshmen and seniors did not exist; 2, a positive correlation exists between the likelihood of needing to present a GPA and the academic variables; 3, motivation was positively correlated with positive affect, while both motivation and effort were negatively correlated with negative affect. For exploratory purposes, the study also surveyed students on their opinions of the “senioritis” phenomenon and summarized those results according to class year finding few class differences in opinion.

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