ERIC Number: EJ1098839
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Psychology Degree Beliefs and Stereotypes: Differences in the Perceptions of Majors and Non-Majors
Brinthaupt, Thomas M.; Hurst, Jennifer R.; Johnson, Quinn R.
Psychology Learning and Teaching, v15 n1 p77-93 Mar 2016
Very little research examines the beliefs and stereotypes students have about the discipline and major of psychology. Previous research has found that psychology majors report hearing a variety of such beliefs and stereotypes more often from their fellow students than from their family members. In the current study, psychology majors/minors and non-majors/-minors (N = 376) reported their frequency of hearing beliefs and stereotypes from friends/fellow students or family members and the extent that they agreed with those items. Majors/minors and non-majors/-minors differed significantly on their agreement with several items, such as psychology being "a dead end field," "psychology is mostly an easy major," and that "working with crazy people will make you go crazy." Compared to majors/minors, non-majors/-minors were more likely to agree with the items. There was no evidence that upper-division majors/minors were less likely to believe or less likely to hear the beliefs and stereotypes than lower-division majors/minors. Students reported hearing many of the items more often from friends/fellow students than family members. We discuss the implications of these results for addressing beliefs about the psychology field and degree in introductory and careers courses.
Descriptors: Psychology, Majors (Students), Nonmajors, Student Attitudes, Stereotypes, Beliefs, Undergraduate Students, Differences, Comparative Analysis, Statistical Analysis, Likert Scales, Student Surveys
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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