Entitled to success: the development of entitlement and its implications on student success, health, and happiness




Oviatt, David P.

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The purpose of this project was to investigate the relationships of psychological entitlement (PE) and academic entitlement (AE) to student effort, performance, and mental and physical health. It was hypothesized that AE would show significant fluctuations over the measurement period, and that higher levels of each form of entitlement would result in decreased levels of the aforementioned variables. Individuals with high levels of each type of entitlement were also expected to make more other-blame attributions following a failure, and more self-credit attributions following a success. To assess these hypotheses, students were evaluated three times over the course of one semester. Although there was no mean change in AE across the semester, there were significant individual differences in the amount and direction of change. Daily hassles significantly influenced this variability, and individuals with higher AE showed more variability than those with lower AE. Both AE and PE were negatively associated with effort, but only AE was negatively related to student performance. Although most of the effects of AE and PE on health and happiness were non-significant, they were in the anticipated direction. The analyses regarding attributions uncovered an unexpected pattern of results. The results from supplemental mediation analyses are encouraging in that they suggest potential targets for interventions aimed at reducing entitlement or mitigating its effects. These targets include perceived stress, academic self-efficacy, and scholastic effort. Although additional research is needed, this study has provided a solid foundation for the development of additional projects and possible intervention training programs.


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Entitled, Entitlement, Happiness, Health, Success