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ERIC Number: EJ992282
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
Brain Type or Sex Differences? A Structural Equation Model of the Relation between Brain Type, Sex, and Motivation to Learn Science
Zeyer, Albert; Bolsterli, Katrin; Brovelli, Dorothee; Odermatt, Freia
International Journal of Science Education, v34 n5 p779-802 2012
Sex is considered to be one of the most significant factors influencing attitudes towards science. However, the so-called brain type approach from cognitive science suggests that the difference in motivation to learn science does not primarily differentiate the girls from the boys, but rather the so-called systemisers from the empathizers. The present study investigates this hypothesis by using structural equation modelling on a sex-stratified sample of 500 male and female students of secondary II level. The results show, that the motivation to learn science is directly influenced by the systemizing quotient SQ, but not by sex. The impact of sex on the motivation to learn science, measured by five key concepts, only works indirectly, namely through the influence of sex on the SQ. The empathizing quotient (EQ) has no impact on the motivation to learn science. The SQ explains between 13 and 23 percent of the variation of the five key constructs. In female students, the impact of the SQ is very similar for all key concepts. In male students, it is highest for self-efficacy and lowest for assessment anxiety. The motivation to learn science is significantly larger for male students in all involved SMQ key concepts, but the difference is small. The interpretation of these findings and conclusions for science teaching and further research are discussed. (Contains 3 tables, 2 figures, and 1 note.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A