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Is there a relationship between brain type, sex and motivation to learn science?


Zeyer, A; Wolf, S (2010). Is there a relationship between brain type, sex and motivation to learn science? International Journal of Science Education, 32(16):2217-2233.

Abstract

Whilst sex is considered to be one of the most significant factors influencing attitudes towards science, previous research seems to suggest that, at least in non-science classes, there is no correlation between sex and motivation to learn science. The present study investigates a mixed group of science and non-science students of upper secondary level. The data show that there is in fact no correlation between sex and motivation to learn science in this group, but that there is a highly significant positive correlation between the students' so-called brain type and their motivation to learn science. At the same time, male students show a more systemizing brain type whilst female students have a more empathizing one. Therefore, the brain type seems in fact to be a basic variable of motivation to learn science, as previous research suggests. Our intention was to explore if involving the science motivation questionnaire (SMQ) could be a strategy to confirm and extend this hypothesis, which seems to be the case. We consider this study as a pilot in preparation for a larger and more systematically sampled project.

Whilst sex is considered to be one of the most significant factors influencing attitudes towards science, previous research seems to suggest that, at least in non-science classes, there is no correlation between sex and motivation to learn science. The present study investigates a mixed group of science and non-science students of upper secondary level. The data show that there is in fact no correlation between sex and motivation to learn science in this group, but that there is a highly significant positive correlation between the students' so-called brain type and their motivation to learn science. At the same time, male students show a more systemizing brain type whilst female students have a more empathizing one. Therefore, the brain type seems in fact to be a basic variable of motivation to learn science, as previous research suggests. Our intention was to explore if involving the science motivation questionnaire (SMQ) could be a strategy to confirm and extend this hypothesis, which seems to be the case. We consider this study as a pilot in preparation for a larger and more systematically sampled project.

Citations

8 citations in Web of Science®
9 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Education
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:04 Mar 2011 18:38
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:46
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0950-0693
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/09500690903585184

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