Strong faculty relationships and academic motivation as potential outcomes of undergraduate research

J. Quentin Hartmann, Sabina C Widner, Chad Carrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We examined positive student-faculty relationships and academic motivation as outcomes of undergraduate research experiences. Such experiences are widely touted by colleges and universities as offering benefits above and beyond classroom experiences. A quasi-experimental design compared individually mentored, classroom research, and nonresearch college student groups over the course of a semester. Individually mentored students reported stronger student-faculty relationships than the other two groups at pre-test and at post-test. However, student-faculty relationship scores did not change for any of the groups over a semester of research or course experience. Similarly, no changes were evident in academic motivation scores. We defined academic motivation in light of expectancy-value theory. Individually mentored students reported significantly higher academic motivation than the non-research group at pre-test only. At post-test individually mentored students evidenced greater intellectual curiosity than the nonresearch group. The data suggest that students who pursue additional research experiences are already a select group with strong academic motivation and connections to faculty mentors. One semester of individually mentored research experience may not offer the quantity or quality of mentoring to increase academic motivation as a whole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-234
Number of pages20
JournalNorth American Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)


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