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Symes, Wendy; Putwain, David W. (2016): The role of attainment value, academic self-efficacy, and message frame in the appraisal ofvalue-promoting messages. In: British Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol. 86, No. 3: pp. 446-460
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BackgroundPrior to high-stakes examinations, teachers may use value-promoting messages (VPMs) to communicate to students the value and importance of their forthcoming examinations in the hope that they will adopt adaptive learning and study behaviours. These messages can focus on achieving success (gain-framed) or avoiding failure (loss-framed). AimsThis study examined how secondary school students appraised hypothetical gain- and loss-framed VPMs, and how these appraisals differed according to self-reported levels of attainment value (AV) and academic self-efficacy (ASE). SamplesIn total, 539 secondary school students (284 male, 255 female, mean age 14.8years) were participated in this study. MethodsParticipants completed self-report measures of AV and ASE and appraised hypothetical VPMs as challenging, threatening, or irrelevant (disregard). Participants were randomly assigned to a gain- or loss-framed condition. ResultsA challenge appraisal was greater in students with higher AV and ASE. A threat appraisal was greater in students with higher AV and lower ASE. A disregard appraisal was higher in students with lower AV. Message frame did not interact with AV or ASE in the appraisal of VPMs as challenging, threatening, or irrelevant. ConclusionsEducational practitioners should consider the characteristics of their students before using VPMs. In particular, they may not be effective for students high in AV and low in ASE. They are likely to be ineffective for students low in AV.