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Boasts are a boost: Achievement prime self-reactivity predicts subsequent academic performance
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2014)
  • Richard H. Gramzow, Syracuse University
  • Camille S. Johnson, San Jose State University
  • Greg Willard, Harvard University
The present research tests the hypothesis that self-reactivity following an achievement prime reflects the strength of achievement goals and is a predictor of future goal-relevant performance. In Studies 1–3, undergraduates reported their grade-point averages (GPAs) following either an achievement goal prime or a control prime. Academic exaggeration (higher self-reported than official GPA) was the indicator of self-reactivity to the prime. Study 1 involved a direct achievement goal prime, whereas Studies 2 and 3 involved indirect priming techniques. In all 3 experiments, greater academic exaggeration following the achievement goal prime (but not the control prime) predicted better academic performance a semester later (based on official records). Study 4 demonstrated that the magnitude of students’ GPA goals mediated the association between academic exaggeration and subsequent performance (1 year later). The fact that self-reactivity to a single achievement goal prime in the lab predicted later performance in “real life” suggests that individual differences in reactivity to a specific prime can signal much broader motivational orientations related to the primed goal. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
  • achievement,
  • goals,
  • implicit cognition,
  • self,
  • academic performance,
  • self-reactivity
Publication Date
March, 2014
Publisher Statement
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Citation Information
Richard H. Gramzow, Camille S. Johnson and Greg Willard. "Boasts are a boost: Achievement prime self-reactivity predicts subsequent academic performance" Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Vol. 106 Iss. 3 (2014) p. 458 - 468 ISSN: 0022-3514
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