Previous organizational research has shown that people who perceived discrimination can bounce back from their negative experiences by constructing underdog stories: narratives in which others do not believe an individual could succeed, but in the end, the person succeeds. However, this concept has not been tested in the educational setting. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine if constructing underdog stories can influence how college students perceive potential barriers in education. Participants were randomly assigned conditions: Underdog and control (neutral stories) condition. We hypothesized that creating underdog stories would reduce perceived barriers in college. We further hypothesized that creating "neutral" control stories, narratives where people do not have to overcome any challenges, will not affect perceived barriers in college. These hypotheses were tested by comparing participants' underdog story reflections and the control group's story reflections. McWhirter's Perceived Barriers Scale (1992), a commonly instrument used in perceived college barriers and education studies, was used to establish and analyze participants' perceived barriers in education.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Gonzalez, Daniela, "Can Underdog Stories Help Students To Overcome College Barriers? A Study on Gender and Ethnic Differences" (2021). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1024.