Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

A View from the Inside: An In-Depth Look at a Female University Student's Experience with a Feel-Based Intervention to Enhance Self-Confidence and Self-Talk

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

A View from the Inside: An In-Depth Look at a Female University Student's Experience with a Feel-Based Intervention to Enhance Self-Confidence and Self-Talk

Article excerpt

The primary goal of this investigation was to document, using the participatory paradigm, a female university student's experience with a feel-based intervention intended to enhance the quality of her academic experiences including her self-confidence and self-talk. In this unique qualitative case study, the student participated in a 15-week intervention that included multiple in-depth interviews and regular journaling, both of which prompted regular self-monitoring and self-reflection. A narrative account illustrates how the student learned to regulate the way she felt through the intervention, leading to increased self-awareness and self-control, as well as enhanced self-talk and self-confidence. Key Words: Intervention, Self-Regulation, Feel, Resonance, Self-Confidence, Self-Talk, Self-Awareness, and Journaling

Introduction

This article presents the findings of a unique study in which the participatory paradigm (Creswell, 2007; Heron & Reason, 1997) was used to examine a female university student's 15-week experience as both researcher and participant in an intervention that sought to help her learn to regulate the way she felt. Specifically, the investigators were interested in mapping the influence of the intervention on selfawareness and self-control, particularly with respect to self-confidence and self-talk. The participatory worldview was chosen to conduct this study as it advocates change and empowerment to increase individuals' capacity to take greater control of decisions and actions which they themselves identify as important (Creswell; Maguire, 1996). Creswell advanced: "[Participatory] research should contain an action agenda for reform that may change the lives of participants, the institutions in which they live and work, or even the researchers' lives" (p. 21). Researchers are actively involved as participants in a participatory inquiry and become committed learners in the process rather than remain impartially detached, as seen in positivistic types of inquiries (Hall, 1992). As such, this case study involved two researchers who also served as participants, that is, one partook in the intervention and the other facilitated it. They documented shared lived experiences and change (Heron & Reason) throughout a feel-based intervention.

The intervention was guided by the Resonance Performance Model (RPM; Callary & Durand-Bush, 2008), a dynamic and interactive educational framework designed to help individuals regulate how they feel to optimize performance and well being. Resonance is depicted as a self-regulatory process facilitating ongoing learning through increased self-awareness and self-control (Simon & Durand-Bush, 2009). Individuals thus learn to identify and alter their inner states or responses to bring themselves into line with preferred standards (Vohs & Baumeister, 2004; Zimmerman, 2000), particularly with respect to how they want to feel (Callary & Durand-Bush). Congruent with Vohs and Baumeister's observations, individuals experiencing resonance maintain harmony between their inner self and their social and physical environment (Simon & Durand-Bush).

Feel is at the core of the resonance process and is defined as a subjective multidimensional experience that is mediated by one's ability to perceive, to be aware of, or to be conscious of one's inner self and environment (Callary & Durand-Bush, 2008; Simon & Durand-Bush, 2009). In this context and in line with the participatory worldview (Creswell, 2007), felt experiences are generated by the individual, that is, they are not predetermined nor imposed. Feel can be experienced, for example, physically (e.g., I feel strong), cognitively (e.g., I feel confident), emotionally (e.g., I feel happy), socially (e.g., I feel connected to the group), and also spiritually (e.g., I feel at peace with myself; Callary & Durand-Bush). As such, this broader concept of feel may be differentiated from more traditional definitions of emotions and feelings (Hansen, 2005; Vallerand & Blanchard, 2000). …

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