Analyzing the Impact of a Relevance Intervention on Perceived Cost




Brewington, Shon

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In this study, I created and tested whether an experimental relevance intervention (RI) grounded in the expectancy-value theory could reduce the perceived cost of students enrolled in an educational psychology course. I also examine if differences occurred between three student demographic variables: gender, ethnic background, and first-generation college student status. The participants (n= 112) were randomly assigned to either a control or treatment group and were asked to complete similar paper and pencil self-report surveys. However, the treatment group received and read a vignette that sought to lower levels of perceived cost. I used four multiple regression models to analyze students' responses and answer the research questions. The results overall suggest that this RI design was not effective at reducing cost. Males showed marginally significant differences in perceived post-cost compared to females overall but were not differently impacted by the treatment. Hispanic students reported a significantly higher level of perceived post-cost compared to non-Hispanic students. I did not find any difference between first-generation college students compared to students whose parents completed a four-year degree. This study highlights the need for educational psychology instructors to structure their classrooms in a way that helps reduce perceived cost for males and Hispanic students.


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Cost, Expectancy-Value Theory, Relevance Intervention



Educational Psychology