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Investigate a possible relationship between self-esteem and levels of satisfaction in the undergraduate student population.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Behavioural Studies BA (Hons.) – Research Skills PSH2701R of

The relationship between Self Esteem and levels of Satisfaction in the undergraduate student population.        

The present research was carried out in order to investigate a possible relationship between self-esteem and levels of satisfaction in the undergraduate student population. The aim was to identify a possible correlation that may illustrate that people with high self-esteem are generally more satisfied than those with low self-esteem. The survey instrument used as the means to test the hypothesis was a self-complete questionnaire containing both closed and open questions. This was piloted and then administered to an opportunity sample of 21 first year undergraduates at West Suffolk College. The quantitative data was analysed using the SPSS computer package. The results reveal a correlation coefficient of r=.816 indicating a strong positive correlation, which was then statistically tested and shown to be significant at the 0.01 level. The qualitative data was analysed and found to support the quantitative data. The results and findings in both cases support the hypothesis and so it can therefore be concluded that there is a significant correlation between levels of self-esteem and levels of undergraduate satisfaction.

This study is interested in self-esteem in relation to satisfaction in the undergraduate student population. It seeks to investigate how high or low self-esteem affects the way a person sees their world. The aim was to identify a possible correlation that may illustrate that people with high self-esteem are generally more satisfied than those with low self-esteem. Self-esteem is one of the most studied aspects of individual difference in personality. Humanist, psychodynamic, social psychological and cognitive theorists have emphasised the importance of self-esteem.

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Middle

F

42+

13

13

5

Open minded

10

B/S

F

22-31

13

10

1

unsure

11

B/S

F

22-31

16

15

5

MA Psych

12

B/S

F

42+

15

16

5

Teaching primary

13

B/S

F

32-41

12

12

3

Ed Psych

14

H

F

32-41

15

14

3

Achieve best grade

15

H

F

42+

11

11

4

Teach primary

16

H

M

42+

13

13

2

Teach

17

H

F

22-31

16

15

3

1st Class Hons

18

H

F

32-41

12

12

4

Teaching

19

H

F

19-21

13

14

3

teaching

20

B/S

F

32-41

14

12

5

Rewarding career/independance

21

H

F

22-31

12

10

2

Teach - Not sure if good enough

Total

281

264

Mean

13

13

St Dev

1.6

2

Table 1 lists the program of study, age group and gender of the 21 respondents. It also lists the total scores for satisfaction and self-esteem taken from the quantitative part of the questionnaire together with the mean and standard deviations. The table also includes the individual respondents positive word scores, which were derived from the qualitative data collected. The final column details the respondent’s long-term goal, which was part of the demographic section of the questionnaire and shows that 8 out of the 21 respondents aim to go into teaching, 3 respondents hoped their degree would lead onto a job but did not specify the type of job. 3 respondents said they would like to undertake a Masters degree and/or go into Educational Psychology. 3 respondents reported that gaining a degree was their long term goal, 1 of whom is aiming for a first class honours degree. The 4 remaining respondents said they were unsure, open-minded or had no long-term goal. Generally satisfaction scores tended to be high with a mean score of 13 (the lowest possible score being 4 and the highest 16). Deviation from the mean was minor with a standard deviation of 1.6 for satisfaction and 2 for self-esteem.

SPSS was used to calculate the correlation, which is illustrated in the scatter gram in appendix 4. Correlation measures the extent to which the self esteem and satisfaction scores tend to change together or ‘co-vary’. Appendix 4 illustrates the strong positive correlation found with the self esteem and satisfaction scores.

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Conclusion

Inclusion and lifelong learning are driving forces throughout education today. Watson and Taylor (1998).Perhaps by attempting raise levels of self esteem from an early age access to higher education may be increased.

References

Academic definitions (2004) [online] www.brainydictionary.com/words/defin/satisfaction.htm

(Accessed 17/10/2004)

Baumeister, R. (1999) The Self in Social Psychology. Philadelphia: Psychology Press

Brown, G. et al. (1997) Assessing Student Learning in Higher Education. London: Routledge

Bryman, A (2004) Social Research Methods, (2nd ed.): Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Coolican, H (1999) Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology, (3rd ed.): London: Hodder and Stoughton.

Curry and Johnson (1990) Self esteem and successful early learning.

Durkin, K. (1995) Developmental Social Psychology: from infancy to old age. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Eysenck, M. (2000) Psychology, a student’s handbook, Hove: Psychology Press Ltd.

Gross, R. (1996) Psychology: the Science of Mind and Behaviour. (3rd ed.): London: Hodder and Stoughton.

Hayes, N. (2000)  Foundations of Psychology. (3rd ed.): London: Thomson Learning.

Lee et al (1999) Factors Related to Student Satisfaction with University. [on line]http://www.qut.edu.au/talss/fye/papers/JollyPaper.doc (accessed 16/11/2004)

Malley, J. (1998) The Measurement and Meaning of Student Satisfaction: A Review. Melbourne: ACER.

May, T. (2003) DSE212 Exploring Psychology Methods Booklets 4 & 5.UK:OU Publication

Postema, M. and Markham, S. (2001) A Methodology for Subject Evaluation: Defining Student Satisfaction. [on line] http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/-smarkham/techreports/satisfaction_2203.htm (accessed 17/10/2004)

Rosenberg, M. (1965) Society and the Adolescent Self Image. Princeton: New Jersey Princeton University Press.

Rosenberg, M (1965) Self Esteem Scale [on line] http://www.atkinson.yorku.ca/-psyctest/rosenbrg.htm.  

(Accessed 17/10/2004)

Watson, D and Taylor, R. (1998) Lifelong learning and the University: A Post-Dearing Agenda. London: The Falmer Press

0361456                10/05/2007

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