Date of Conferral







Michael Durnam


In a university or college setting, academic entitlement occurs when a student thinks that he or she may deserve an acknowledgement that has not been earned. By understanding the potential contributions, negative effects on the student, faculty, and administration can be avoided. Using the social learning theory and cognitive evaluation theory as the framework, the purpose of this research was to examine the relationship between competition, an activity in which only one or several will win a contest or accolade. Amazon's Mechanical Turk was used for the recruitment of 552 students residing in the United States, from freshman to doctorate level. Academic entitlement was the dependent variable, while competition was the independent variable. Gender, year in school and ethnicity were covariates and a multiple regression was used to analyze the data. The results of the study showed a positive relationship between competition and academic entitlement. There was a negative relationship between the year in school and academic entitlement, while there was no significant relationship between year in school and competition. There was no significant gender difference in the level of academic entitlement or competition by gender. Finally, there was no significant difference in level of academic entitlement, competition, and ethnicity. This study contributes to positive social change by helping faculty, administration, and parents to assist students in avoiding academic entitlement behaviors, which on a long-term level can have a negative impact on the all stakeholders. Faculty, administration, parents, and students can use this study as a way to discuss specific ideas for helping the student avoid academic entitlement.