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Abstract Title: Psychological threat and demands in an introductory physics class
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Abstract: Psychological threat, defined as a person's perception that the demands being experienced exceed that person's resources to meet those demands, can affect cognition and behavior, and may be associated with negative outcomes in certain motivated performance contexts. To understand how psychological threat may manifest in the context of introductory physics courses, we examine students' psychological threat across time and in relation to specific course-related activities and experiences.  Students in an introductory physics class were given surveys at four time points throughout the semester to measure their level of overall psychological threat, and perceptions about the relative demand posed by specific course experiences.  We report on students' perceptions of the demands of the course, their psychological threat level, and how these perceptions change throughout time. Our results can help inform efforts to identify teaching practices and interventions that may reduce psychological threat and improve student experience in introductory physics courses.
Session Time: Poster Session 1
Poster Number: I-74

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Melanie Good
University of Pittsburgh
and Co-Presenter(s)
Brian Galla,  University of Pittsburgh
Tim Nokes-Malach, University of Pittsburgh
Avital Pelakh, University of Pittsburgh
Michael Tumminia, University of Pittsburgh
Kristen Hinshaw, University of Pittsburgh
Sara Jahanian, University of Pittsburgh
Eric Kuo, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign