Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Richard W. Malott

Second Advisor

Dr. Cheryl Poche

Third Advisor

Dr. Arthur Snapper

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Arthur Falk


This project describes a structured approach to the supervision of M.A. theses and Ph.D. dissertations. The main components of this supervisory system are: weekly (a)specification of tasks and performance standards, (b)meetings with a supervisor (either faculty or doctoral student), (c)deadlines, (d)feedback, and (e)added incentives in the form of a point system to be included by the student's faculty advisor in any requested letters of recommendation. In seven experiments, the student's research performance was highest when all components of the supervisory system were present; it deteriorated as each major component was removed. Compared to more traditional supervisory approaches, this system produced a greater percentage of graduates in a shorter length of time, and with research-projects rated as comparable in quality. The amount of faculty supervision time was about 5 hours per week (with a total of 12 supervisees). The participants in this system highly valued their involvement.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons