Implicit Theories of Ability, Epistemic Beliefs, and Academic Motivation: A Person-Centered Approach Open Access

Chen, Jason Andrew (2010)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/2801ph01k?locale=en
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Abstract

Implicit Theories of Ability, Epistemic Beliefs, and Academic Motivation:
A Person-Centered Approach
By Jason A. Chen
The purpose of the present study was to (1) explore which distinct student profiles
emerge from measures of science epistemic beliefs and implicit theories of science ability;
(2) investigate how these emergent student profiles relate to science motivation and
achievement; and (3) explore how these emergent student profiles differ by race/ethnicity,
gender, school context (regular public school versus a STEM-focused charter school),
and type of science course (life science versus physical science). Participants were 716
students from two different high schools from within the same county. One school was a
regular public school and the other was a charter school that focused specifically on
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
Cluster analysis revealed that a 4-cluster solution was the best candidate for
students attending both types of schools. In addition, the cluster patterns were similar
between schools. When controlling for prior achievement, an Analysis of Covariance
revealed that students in clusters exhibiting more sophisticated stances about the nature of
scientific knowledge and incremental views about the nature of ability also achieved
higher science grades and exhibited more adaptive science motivation. The findings were
consistent with and corroborated past variable-centered approaches investigating implicit
theories of ability and epistemic beliefs. Finally, a chi-square test of independence
revealed that there were differences in the composition of the student profiles as a
function of race/ethnicity and by gifted status. Findings refine and extend the tenets of
implicit theory of ability and epistemic beliefs.

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………. 1

CHAPTER 2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ……………………………….. 3

Implicit Theories …………………………………………………….. 3

Epistemic Beliefs .................................................................................. 13

Achievement Goal Orientations ……………………………………….. 25

Self-Efficacy ……………………………………………………………….. 27

Self-Efficacy for Self-Regulation ……………………………………….. 31

Self-Concept ……………………………………………………………….. 33

Interest……………………………………………………………………….. 34

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics ……………….. 35

A Person-Centered Approach ……………………………………………….. 38

Statement of the Problem ….……………………………….................. 43

Purpose of the Study ……………………………………………………….. 47

Research Questions and Hypotheses ………………………………………... 47

CHAPTER 3. METHODOLOGY ……………………………………………….. 50

Participants and Setting ……………………………………………….. 50

Instrument and Variables in the Study ……………………………….. 52

Analyses ……………………………………………………………….. 58

CHAPTER 4. RESULTS ……………………………………………………….. 62

Reliability of Cluster Solutions ……………………………………….. 63

Split by Random Halves ……………………………………….. 63

Split by Schools ……………………………………….. 64

Split by Science Subject ……………………………………….. 68

Question 1 ……………………………………………………………….. 70

Regular Public School ……………………………………….. 70

Charter School ……………………………………….. 79

Question 2 ……………………………………………………………….. 81

Regular Public School ……………………………………….. 81

Charter School ……………………………………….. 88

Question 3 ……………………………………………………………….. 90

CHAPTER 5. DISCUSSION ……………………………………………….. 95

Limitations and Future Directions ……………………………………….. 106

REFERENCES ……………………………………………………………….. 112

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