Predicting Academic Performance with an Assessment of Students’ Knowledge of the Benefits of High-Level and Low-Level Construal
Metamotivation research suggests that people understand the benefits of engaging in high-level versus low-level construal (i.e., orienting toward the abstract, essential versus concrete, idiosyncratic features of events) in goal-directed behavior. The current research examines the psychometric properties of one assessment of this knowledge and tests whether it predicts consequential outcomes (academic performance). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses revealed a two-factor structure, whereby knowledge of the benefits of high-level construal (i.e., high-level knowledge) and low-level construal (i.e., low-level knowledge) were distinct constructs. Participants on average evidenced beliefs about the normative benefits of high-level and low-level knowledge that accord with published research. Critically, individual differences in high-level and low-level knowledge independently predicted grades, controlling for traditional correlates of grades. These findings suggest metamotivational knowledge may be a key antecedent to goal success and lead to novel diagnostic assessments and interventions.