ERIC Number: EJ1207190
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Talking about Science Interests: The Importance of Social Recognition When Students Talk about Their Interests in STEM
Jackson, Matthew C.; Leal, Christina C.; Zambrano, Jeanette; Thoman, Dustin B.
Social Psychology of Education: An International Journal, v22 n1 p149-167 Feb 2019
Although interest development is often conceptualized as a process that occurs within an individual, interest can be developed through various social mechanisms. Messages that suggest that one is or is not welcome within a context may serve to bolster or attenuate interest in those contexts. In a sample of first semester freshmen undergraduate science students, we tested whether or not talking with close others about one's interests, and receiving social recognition during those conversations, was related to having a greater science career interest over time. Our findings suggest that the way in which students perceive others' reactions to their scientific interests (social recognition) during these conversations may have the greatest impact on students that face greater external barriers to persisting. We found that positive social recognition appraisals that convey that a listener understands and encourages one's interest in science predicted a greater science career interest over time for women, but not men. The impact of positive social recognition appraisals on interest in a science career was greatest among women with relatively low or average science identities, but not for women with a relatively high science identity. The implications for the development of students' interest and for broadening participation in science are discussed.
Descriptors: Student Interests, College Freshmen, Science Instruction, Interpersonal Communication, Social Influences, Science Careers, Student Attitudes, Barriers, Academic Persistence, Gender Differences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DRL1420271