Negotiation has been considered essential to anyone who has to work with and through other people to accomplish his/her objectives. Due to this fact, I decided to examine the negotiation tactics and factors used by college students in questioning professors about dissatisfying grades. Consequently, 89 Cornell College undergraduate students (24 males, 65 females) were asked to relate their “most recent” grade questioning incident. From that incident they were to respond to a series of additional questions that further inquired about that individual grade-questioning episode.
In conducting the research, I wanted to see if men and women differed in their styles of negotiating dissatisfying grades and their utilization of strategies therein. Preliminary analysis revealed that 73% of the student participants had questioned a grade in the past (20 males, 45 females). Of that student percentage, chi square tests were performed to determine whether or not gender differences existed between men and women regarding multiple factors listed below. I first explored potential relationships between questioning a grade, and both the gender of the professor and the gender of the student, but found no significant differences. I also wanted to see if there was a relationship between whether or not the student negotiated and their grade point average (GPA); however I found no significant relationship. Nevertheless, I did find that gender was related to the number of strategies used in the grade negotiation process. I also found no relationship between gender and the total number of times a student questioned a grade in multiple classes, a singular class, or in his/her major. Similarly, there was no significant gender difference between questioning a grade and the type of grade questioned.
Caterria Brown, ’99 Chicago, IL
Sponsor: Suzette Astley