MA Community Psychology Theses

Date of Award

11-29-2017

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Community Psychology, MA

First Advisor

Reed Mueller, Ph.D.

Keywords

Science-related attitudes, attitude toward science, scientific attitude, career interest in science, tripartite theory of attitudes, exploratory factor analysis, TOSRA, psychometric evaluation

Abstract

The demand for scientifically literate citizens has long been a call educators and researchers have been aware of and striving to create as the need for qualified individuals in jobs related to engineering, technology, and science continues to grow. Researchers have consistently found that science-related attitudes often drop dramatically during middle school, therefore increasing the need to assess and implement educational interventions in order to change this downward trend. Calls by researchers suggest that assessment tools already in existence and are used to measure attitudes should be continually tested for validity and reliability instead of attempting to create new ones. In this study, a quantitative, non-experimental, exploratory survey method using middle school student participants was employed to evaluate the psychometric quality of five of the original seven Test of Science-Related Attitudes subscales and further explore the subscales’ relatedness to the tripartite theory of attitudes. Psychometric evaluation results analyzing Cronbach alpha and test-retest scores support the original five subscales as reliable and valid. Exploratory Factor Analysis with oblique oblimin factor rotation results suggest that from the 50 items investigated, a three-factor solution with is appropriate. Implications of this study indicate that further analysis is warranted of three of the original Test of Science-Related Attitudes subscales, Career Interest in Science, Attitude to Scientific Inquiry, and Normality of Scientists to assess their effectiveness of comprehensively measuring attitudes toward science, scientific attitudes, and career interest in science as representing the affective, cognitive, and behavioral dimensions of the tripartite theory of attitudes, respectively.

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