Head and Coordination


  • Juliane Albert, Dipl.-Psych.


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01/2010 - 12/2012

Project SelF

Self-Regulation and Feedback

The project SelF deals with the implementation of specific self-regulatory strategies in different areas of application.

Self-regulation comprises the ability to control and direct one’s own feelings, thoughts, and behavior. The project focused a phenomenon called Stereotype Threat and it’s consequences in the classroom environment. Stereotype threat is being at risk of confirming, as self-characteristic, a negative stereotype about one's group (Steele & Aronson, 1995).

Regarding school achievement, children with a migration background are biased toward not performing as well as their German classmates in nearly every subject. Particularly in terms of math skills, girls are in general assumed to be outperformed by boys. Both of these facts are focused by our research. Over the course of our investigations we will furthermore examine the effects of implementation intentions and feedback strategies on the performance of the children.

The project wanted to explore indications on how the learning environment can influence the Stereotype Threat phenomenon. To prevent the effects of Stereotype Threat certain strategies will be deployed which induce self-regulatory abilities. Those strategies are expected to improve learning efficiency and evoke cognitive and motivational processes. We will induce them in the form of so called Implementation Intentions and Feedback.

Implementation Intentions are if-then plans that link situational cues with responses that are effective in attaining goals or desired outcomes ("If situation Y is encountered, then I will initiate behavior Z in order to reach goal X!"). Implementation intentions are formed for the purpose of enhancing the translation of goal intentions into action (Gollwitzer, 1999).

Furthermore, external feedback has a great influence on future learning activity, especially in consideration of self-efficacy and motivational beliefs that are associated with that activity. In addition to this, previous research shows that the ability to self-regulation in learning highly depends on the quality of feedback (Schunk & Rice, 1993; Schunk & Schwartz, 1993). Effects of intervention and stereotype threat are measured on several levels (i.e., questionnaires, performance).

In this study, children in grade six participated in an experiment lasting one hour, solving math problems. Depending on the condition, the children received in advance either an instruction in form of an implementation intention, a goal instruction or a feedback on their previous performance. The experimental procedure either took place in our institution’s laboratory rooms or in the child’s school.