Student Impression Management in the Classroom

Julita Haber, Robert Tesoriero


With the growing shift from lecture-style teaching methods to interactive and experiential group exercises, instructors need to know more about their students, such as their desired impressions, to adequately engage and support students’ social interactions. This study addresses this need by providing an overall understanding of the types of images that are important for students to project when interacting with others in a classroom. After a concise review of impression management literature and grounding our reasoning in cybernetic theory (Bozeman & Kacmar, 1997) this study offers an insight of the positive impressions students desire to project in front of their peers and professors and the negative impressions students aim to avoid. With a two-part survey based on 269 responses, we measured students’ ranking of specific images and the effort level they exerted towards achieving or avoiding them. We offer suggestions of how these findings can be integrated into teaching for improved student learning and experiences.

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Copyright (c) 2018 Julita Haber, Robert Tesoriero

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