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Social identification and academic performance: integrating two existing models of tertiary student learning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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  • Embargoed (until 14/05/20)


Lillian Smyth, Kenneth I. Mavor, Michael J. Platow

School/Research organisations


Recent research has mapped the ways social identification and normative influence affect students’ self-reported learning approaches and course experience, and also, the ways in which social identification and learning approach impact directly on grades. However, there is not yet evidence for a model incorporating both these processes. The current paper aims to address this in a dataset drawn from a range of courses and disciplines at a mid-size Australian university. The data capture student demographics, social identification with the field of study, perceived learning norms and learning approaches, and examine how these map onto end of semester academic outcomes. Findings indicate support for the Bliuc (2011a) identification-to-grade, through learning approach model. Further, we find support for the Smyth (2015, 2017) identification-by-norm moderation model of predicting learning approaches. Added to which, we find support for a combined moderated mediation model, where the identification-norm interaction moderates the indirect effect of identification predicting grades through learning approach. Implications for course design are discussed.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-425
Number of pages17
JournalEducational Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date14 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019

    Research areas

  • Social identity, Normative influence, Learning approaches, Academic performance, Higher education

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ID: 255979531