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Volume 18 Number 2, Summer 2021, Pages 390-744   


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Optimism Bias and Plagiarism: The Effects of Reinforcements on Filipino Students' Academic Writing Proficiency

    Lindsey N. Tan & Edwina R. Bensal


Late submission, sloppy works, and plagiarized papers are the common hurdles encountered by most English writing teachers. However, there seem to be limited studies addressing these three problems. Therefore, this study utilizes the positive reinforcements by Sharot's (2011) Optimism Bias (OB), and negative reinforcement through Enactive Learning (EL) (Bandura, 1986, as cited in Feist et al., 2018). Following that, the researchers explore the effects of these reinforcements to the 213 Filipino college students' academic writing proficiency, their perceptions on these approaches, and the best approach to use in teaching academic writing. This study used analysis of variance (ANOVA) in testing the significant difference among the reinforcements applied such as OB, EL, and combined OB/EL on students' academic writing proficiency. Specifically, the Tukey Post-Hoc Test presents that there is significant difference between EL and combined OB/EL, OB and EL, but not between OB and combined OB/EL. Moreover, the descriptive statistics reveal that the different reinforcements are manifested and motivating based on students' perceptions. The results show that the combined OB and EL reinforcements best helped students' performance and behavior in their academic writing class. Thereby, this paper introduces the potential impact of the Diametric Motivational Approach to college students' academic writing proficiency.

Keywords: optimism bias, positive reinforcement, academic writing, plagiarism, enactive learning