Are higher-order life values antecedents of students' learning engagement and adaptive learning outcomes? The case of materialistic vs. intrinsic life values

Abstract

Materialistic values have been shown to have a negative effect on learning. As intrinsic life values such as self-acceptance are orthogonaltomaterialisticvalues,theymaycounteracttheeffectsofmaterialismandbenefitthelearningprocessbyencouraging a focus on the actual learning task itself, as opposed to emphasizing the rewards associated with learning (e.g., school grades). Therefore, we tested the hypotheses positing these two higher order life values as antecedents of engagement with the learning process, and of important learning outcomes, including actual academic performance. A total of 345 university students of Chinese ethnicity (211 females; mean age=18.89, SD =1.35) participated in two studies that utilized a three-wave longitudinal design over a three-month period. The main variables tested were materialistic values, intrinsic life values, engagement with learning, and actual performance (in a writing task in Study 1, and in a formal assessment, i.e., final exam, in Study 2). Results showed that materialistic values were longitudinally and negatively related with exam performance, but not with engagement withlearning.Incontrast,intrinsic life valueslongitudinallypredictedengagementwithlearning,andhad apositivedirecteffect on performance on the writing task (Study 1), and a positive indirect effect on final exam performance (Study 2). The results highlight an important, if underutilized method of improving the learning process.

Description

The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.

Keywords

psychology, materialism, learning, academic performance, longitudinal, psychology

Citation

Ku, L., Bernardo, A.B., and Zaroff, C. M. (2020). Are higher-order life values antecedents of students' learning engagement and adaptive learning outcomes? The case of materialistic vs. intrinsic life values. Current Psychology.

Rights

Research Institute

Institute for Psychological Science