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Explanatory Effort and Structure as Contributors to the Good Life Among University Students

Authors
  • Cheung, Chau-kiu1
  • 1 City University of Hong Kong, Department of Applied Social Studies, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon , Kowloon
Type
Published Article
Journal
Social Psychology of Education
Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2000
Volume
4
Issue
2
Pages
159–188
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1023/A:1009651119533
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

Ample theory and case evidence suggest the salutary role of making sense or explaining social reality for people's well-being. However, empirical evidence in support of the proposition is slim. To examine this proposition in a testable way, the present study employed a longitudinal panel design to assess associations between earlier reasoning on later well-being among a sample of 151 university students in Hong Kong. At the first wave, it measured reasoning in terms of explanatory consolidation and explanatory effort. Explanatory consolidation referred to a student's consistent agreement or disagreement with propositions of sociological theories that explain social problems, protest, and crime. Explanatory effort concerned the student's tendency to explain social problems. At the second wave, the study measured five good-life indicators to represent well-being. Results showed that explanatory consolidation and effort have significant relations with good life characteristics that are consistent with Chinese culture. These findings support social constructionist claims about the contribution of reasoning in the educational setting.

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