Date of Award


Document Type

Research Project

First Advisor

Lori Koban


The purpose of this paper is to examine the tendency of humans to meet or resist inner and outer expectations and uncover how these tendencies influence academic performance. Past research has primarily focused on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, revealing what may ultimately motivate us to behave, but little research has been done to investigate how we act based on what is expected of us. The framework of expectation styles created by Gretchen Rubin was chiefly drawn upon to explore the four different tendencies regarding expectations: Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, and Rebel (2017). Our study involved student participants who were given a questionnaire to assess their academic habits, motivation, and personality traits. They were also asked to take The Four Tendencies Quiz to identify their tendency regarding how they react to expectations (Rubin, 2017). They were then asked to select a small academic plan to carry out each week; there were plans designed for each tendency. It was hypothesized that these small, individual plans would help students perform better academically. The hypothesis was supported using feedback from participants. This research reveals that understanding one’s own tendency towards meeting or resisting expectations is beneficial in shaping plans to enhance academic performance. Furthermore, it suggests that we may be able to mold our environment for better productivity.




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