Date of Award
Sociology & Anthropology
Sister Virginia McGreevey
What are the determinants of success? This question is one that has been considered for many decades and perhaps for centuries, for men are always eager to improve their abilities. They are aware that some men are more successful in their endeavors than others, but the reasons for such success are never very manifest. The factors that are associated with high achievement in any area of human undertaking and endeavor are usually difficult to name or isolate, and even more difficult to form into any type of causal relationship. The dynamic condition or quality of learning can not stop us, however, from seeking to assess the determinants of success. In fact, perhaps, they make the challenge more exciting—and in the complex organization and increasing speed of development in our. society-more necessary or seemingly so. For if man can strike upon some significant factor or identify some type of relation or correlation—even though it may be.negative instead of positive-he is further ahead and closer to his assessment. This study began, then, with an awareness of the importance of academic success. "Learning", very much related to this, in itself, is a construct that man has used to explain observed behavior changes. It refers to these changes in their function: or'.interaction with environment. These changes must be made manifest in some way or there can be no real knowledge that learning has occurred. In this sense, then, the performance of some skill or behavior indicates the fact of learning. In relation to academics, this performance would be most readily available and’observable in the concept of grades. Beneath this academic achievement, serving as a basis to all learning and accounting for the arousing of interest, rests motivation--the basic reason for action. This change within a person upon the realization, whether consciously or unconsciously, of some need serves as a compulsion to action and simultaneously gives purpose to functioning.
Zimmer, Suzanne, "Academic Achievement: A Research Study" (1968). Sociology and Anthropology Undergraduate Theses. 42.