Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Amy Naugle

Second Advisor

Scott Gaynor

Third Advisor

Matthew Jameson


Values clarification, academic performance, higher education, retention


Values exploration exercises, in which individuals are typically asked to rank order their values and describe values that are most important to them, have been used for many purposes including reducing the racial achievement gap in academic performance (Cohen, Garcia, Apfel, Maseter, 2006), increasing acceptance of health related issues (Harris & Napper, 2005), and increasing academic success (Chase, Houmanfar, Hayes, Ward, Vilardaga, & Follette, 2013). However, little research has addressed the mechanism or mechanisms through which values clarification exercises impact outcomes, particularly academic achievement. This paper analyzes values clarification exercises used in educational settings during the 1970s and the roles that values clarification exercises play in contemporary behavior therapies. Additionally, the authors suggests future research for this area and describes a recently conducted pilot study that examined the effects of values clarification on college students’ behaviors related to academic achievement. The authors report on these trends of the pilot study and provide interpretations for potential results and future research to test theses hypotheses.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access