This study examined trust as one of the ways to improve satisfaction and performance in face-to-face student learning groups. A model was developed where trust mediates the relationship between perceived similarity, affect, and individual outcomes of satisfaction and performance (grades). Perceived similarity is positively related to trust, meaning that when students perceive themselves as similar to their group members they will be more likely to trust those group members. Negative affect was also negatively related to trust, but only in the beginning of the semester the group project/discussion. Positive affect was not related to trust. This suggests negative affect is the more important component of affect to study in conjunction with early development in student learning groups, but at the end of the semester affect (positive or negative) does not play a part in the trust, performance, or satisfaction of student learning groups.

Results also indicate that students who had higher levels of trust towards their group members, will be more satisfied with the overall group experience, but will not necessarily exhibit greater performance. This study adds to research on the relationship between trust and affect that is not as widely researched in the context of student learning groups.


Andrea Lassiter

First Committee Member

Emily Stark

Second Committee Member

Kristen Scott

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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