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Administrative Issues Journal

Abstract

The authors explore the effects of a self-affirmation exercise on upper level college students in a business law class. Students from three business law sections were randomly assigned into one of two groups: one group was to write about a personally important value before exams and the other group was to write about a value not important to them but important to others. A third group emerged as some students chose to ignore the assignment. Contrary to expectations, students writing about others’ values performed better on most exams than did those who did not complete the exercise. It may be that writing about others’ values forces students into considering other people’s viewpoints, a finding consistent with Kohlberg’s theories of moral reasoning.

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