Department of Educational Psychology


Date of this Version



de la Fuente J, Sander P, Kauffman DF and Yilmaz Soylu M (2020) Differential Effects of Self- vs. External-Regulation on Learning Approaches, Academic Achievement, and Satisfaction in Undergraduate Students. Front. Psychol. 11:543884. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.543884


2020 de la Fuente, Sander, Kauffman and Yilmaz Soylu.


The aim of this research was to determine the degree to which undergraduate students’ learning approach, academic achievement and satisfaction were determined by the combination of an intrapersonal factor (self-regulation) and a interpersonal factor (contextual or regulatory teaching). The hypothesis proposed that greater combined regulation (internal and external) would be accompanied by more of a deep approach to learning, more satisfaction and higher achievement, while a lower level of combined regulation would determine a surface approach, less satisfaction and lower achievement. Within an ex post facto design by selection, 1036 university students completed validated questionnaires using an online tool. Several multivariate analyses were conducted. Results showed that the combination of self-regulation and external regulation can be ordered as levels along a five-point scale or heuristic. These levels linearly determine type of learning approach, academic achievement and satisfaction. Implications are established for quality and improvement of the teaching and learning process at university.