NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ868648
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-0313-7155
The Study Experiences of the High Achievers in a Competitive Academic Environment: A Cost of Success?
Nordmo, Ivar; Samara, Akylina
Issues in Educational Research, v19 n3 p255-270 2009
The present paper is a case study that explores the study experiences and possible costs of success for the students accepted into the professional program in psychology at the University of Bergen in Norway. In this highly competitive environment, between 500 and 1000 students compete for 36 places during the introduction year. The study is based on 31 students' written narratives about their studying experiences during the introductory year in psychology. The data were analysed from a qualitative phenomenological perspective, and resulted in four basic themes that describe the students' experiences. The main findings indicate sacrificing a normal social student life in order to deal with an excessive workload, a shift in motivation from intrinsic to extrinsic, and a declined interest in the subject and joy of studying. The students experienced considerable stress during the studies, partly caused by lack of informational feedback on their level of competence during the semesters prior to the final exams. The findings are discussed in relation to the learning environment, drawing on Self-Determination Theory and the satisfaction of the basic psychological needs of competence, autonomy and relatedness.
Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc. 5/202 Coode Street, Como, Western Australia 6152, Australia. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway