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The relationship between implicit STEM ability beliefs and educational STEM choices : investigating the mediating role of gender-stereotypical beliefs

Westerink, A.G.J. (2020) The relationship between implicit STEM ability beliefs and educational STEM choices : investigating the mediating role of gender-stereotypical beliefs.

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Abstract:Despite the widely accepted view that implicit ability beliefs affect girls’ intention to opt for a STEM study, it remains unclear if gender-stereotypical beliefs also could play a role in this relationship. One suggestion from previous literature is that these implicit beliefs could have an impact on the internalization of gender-stereotypical beliefs which could affect the intention to choose for a STEM-educational study path. Therefore, this study aims to investigate this relationship by exploring the mediating role of the internalization of gender stereotypical beliefs on the relationship between implicit STEM ability beliefs and STEM intention. A survey examined the malleability of STEM beliefs, the internalization of gender stereotypes, and the STEM field aspiration of secondary school students in their fifth-grade who already chose for a STEM-oriented track (n = 110). It appeared that the survey had good internal consistency and good content validity. Additionally, this study was not able to find a direct relationship between implicit STEM ability beliefs and STEM intention nor did it find a mediating role of gender stereotypes on this relationship. Therefore, this study showed the promising result that the ‘leaking STEM-pipeline’ cannot be explained by implicit STEM ability beliefs and gender stereotypes for fifth-grade female preparatory university students who already chose a STEM-oriented track. Nevertheless, the study found a significant relationship between achievement and intention to opt for a STEM-study, suggesting that achievement influences educational STEM choices. These findings provide a foundation for further research that should investigate other explanations for the leaking STEM-pipeline to be able to stimulate and motivate females for the STEM field.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology, 80 pedagogy, 81 education, teaching
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/81717
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