Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


Date of this Version



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Educational Psychology, Under the Supervision of Professor Douglas F. Kauffman. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2011

Copyright 2011 Kyle R. Perry


This study investigated students’ implicit beliefs about a writing task. Implicit beliefs are defined as the unconscious cognitive constructs that influence motivation, behavior, and affect (Bruning, Dempsey, Kauffman, & Zumbrunn, 2011). Studies regarding implicit beliefs are applied to many constructs, ranging in specificity from domain-general beliefs such as epistemological beliefs (Schommer, 1990) to domain-specific beliefs such as reading (Schraw & Bruning, 1999). In the present study, implicit beliefs about a specific writing task are compared to implicit beliefs about intelligence, demographic information, and participants’ educational background experiences. Research is reviewed pertaining to a variety of studies of implicit beliefs. One hundred fifty three students enrolled in an educational psychology course at a large Midwestern university completed a modified version of the Writing Habits and Beliefs Scale (Bruning, et al., 2011) twice during the semester. Results indicated that students do have implicit beliefs about a specific writing task and those beliefs are correlated with how well students liked writing as well as implicit beliefs about intelligence. There were other notable correlations between items and factors from the survey. Further, implicit beliefs about the writing task did not affect scores on the writing task.

Advisor: Douglas F. Kauffman