“I’m not Typical”: A Study Exploring the Effect of Social Comparison and Categorisation by Undergraduates

McGeough, Julienne and McIlroy, David and Palmer-Conn, Susan (2016) “I’m not Typical”: A Study Exploring the Effect of Social Comparison and Categorisation by Undergraduates. International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education (IJCDSE, 7 (2). pp. 2799-2806. ISSN ISSN 2042-6364

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Widening participation has led to a growth in university places across the Higher Education Sector. Alongside this, there is greater public scrutiny of the quality of both degrees and institutions. Additionally, students have a greater awareness of the potential quality of the institute they are attending via league tables and the annual NSS. While research has been undertaken exploring how students make choices there has been less focus on the experience of students at “lower status” universities. Three focus groups of N = 19 Psychology students from a North-West university were conducted to discuss issues of identity. Thematic Analysis was used to explore issues of Social comparisons and Identity processes. The main themes to emerge were transitional issues, threats to identity and identity protection as students developed narratives around their perceptions of status of student and institution. Furthermore, “othering” processes allowed exploration of the dual comparison processes when identifying with the institution label. These findings are discussed in relation to enabling students to develop a stronger identity.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: social comparison, students, HEI, Higher Education, Social Identity Theory
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Julienne MCGEOUGH
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2017 09:17
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2017 13:24
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/1848

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