• Gender differences in intelligence theory, achievement, motivation, and attributional style: effects on choice of science, math, and technology careers

      Froehlich, Sharon Walling (2007-09-11)
      This study explores potential reasons for why more females become math avoidant than males during middle and high school and tend to skip all but the most necessary math classes in college, leading to a dearth of women who enter careers in mathematics, science, and technology. This web-based study examines gender differences in the way males and females self report views of their own personal math intelligence, their goal orientation in the mathematics learning environment, their demonstration of either mastery or learned helplessness orientation in the face of failure at a difficult math task, and gender differences in math self-efficacy before and after math failure. The author hypothesized that more females than males would demonstrate a learned maladaptive pattern in the mathematical learning environment. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that the above factors will be consistent with females’ decision not to enter scientific and math based careers. Contrary to these predictions, the only significant findings were that women did tend to report lower math self-efficacy than men, and that consistent with previous research (e.g. Betz, 1985), low math self-efficacy is predictive of interest in careers in math, science, and technology. The results will be presented and discussed, along with some limitations of the current study and suggestions for future research in this important area.
    • Influence of career self-efficacy beliefes on career exploration behavior

      Nasta, Kristen A. (2007-09-11)
      The study involved 211 female and 47 male (259 total) college students from the State University of New York at New Paltz general population. All data were collected online. It was hypothesized that the sources of career self-efficacy would significantly correlate with and predict career exploration over and above career self-efficacy, and that past performance accomplishments would have the strongest influence. To measure the sources of career self-efficacy the Career Self-Efficacy Sources Scale was created. The Career Decision Self-Efficacy Scale- Short Form (Betz, Klein, & Taylor, 1996) was used to measure career self-efficacy. To measure career exploration a revised version of the Career Exploration Survey (Stumpf, Colarelli, & Hartman, 1983) was used. Results of the confirmatory factor analysis showed a five factor solution with the factors Past Performance Accomplishments, Vicarious Learning, Verbal Persuasion, Emotional Arousal Negative, and Emotional Arousal Positive, was a good fit for the data. The career self-efficacy sources scales also correlated significantly with career self-efficacy. Results of the bivariate correlations and multiple regression analyses supported the hypothesis that sources of career self-efficacy beliefs do in fact correlate with and predict career exploration. Performance accomplishments had the strongest influence on career self-efficacy, whereas verbal persuasion was the strongest predictor of career exploration. These results suggest that career counselors should incorporate verbal persuasion in their work with clients to enhance career self-efficacy and career exploration.