Motivation to Learn Science and Cognitive Style
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University of Zurich, Zurich, SWITZERLAND
Publication date: 2010-06-21
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2010;6(2):121-128
This article investigates the relation between cognitive style and motivation to learn science. The concept of cognitive style proposes the interplay of two core psychological dimensions, empathizing and systemizing. The cognitive style is defined as the interplay between the two abilities. We used the so-called EQ score (empathy quotient) and the SQ score (systemizing quotient) to measure the empathizing and the systemizing dimension respectively. The motivation to learn science was measured by the so–called Science Motivation Questionnaire (SMQ), which reflects the operationalization of five basic motivational constructs. We investigated a sample of 44 high school students, 17 to 19 year-old, stratified by their sex and by their science/non-science orientation. Our data showed a highly significant and fairly strong correlation between the motivation to learn science and the systemizing quotient. However, different from what we expected, we found no correlation between the motivation to learn science and the empathy quotient. We also found no difference in the motivation to learn science neither for sex nor for science-orientation. The implications of these findings are discussed, especially in the light of school science and research of science education.
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