Drawing upon Freud's seminal discussion of psychological identification vis-a-vis group psychodynamics, this study investigated the relationship between degree of student identification with an instructor and students' ratings of instructional effectiveness. Specifically, it was hypothesized that students who highly identify with their instructor will rate the course more favorably, perceive greater progress on their part toward course related objectives, and report higher motivation to learn than students who do not identify with their instructor. Using a 50 item personality trait Q-sample, 96 undergraduates from eight different courses taught by three different instructors were asked to describe the instructor, their “actual” self, and their “ideal” self; Q-sorts for the instructor and “ideal” self were correlated separately for each student as the measure of identification. Instructional effectiveness was assessed using the Kansas State IDEA form. Correlational and path analyses of the data provided support for the hypothesis. Results are discussed in light of the unique contribution made by the traditional notion of identification to instructional outcomes and evaluation.
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Thomas, D., Ribich, F. & Freie, J. The relationship between psychological identification with instructors and student ratings of college courses. Instr Sci 11, 139–154 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00154884