Assessing predictors of science grades and career goals in university undergraduates

Daniel Francis Patanella, Fordham University


The utility of traditional predictors of both science grades and career goals (SAT and GPA) was compared to psychological predictors such as Piagetian stage (as measured by the Group Assessment of Logical Thinking), sex-role schema (as measured by the Bem Sex-Role Inventory, and self-schema in students enrolled in either psychology classes (n = 123) or biology classes (n = 56). While the overall predictive ability of the model was high (R = .73), the strongest predictors of grade in science class were traditional variables and not psychological ones as predicted. Prediction of career goal, while more modest (R = .19), was best served by the psychological variable of self-schema. Subsequent analyses indicated that Piagetian stage was best conceptualized as a mediating variable and that sex-role schema as measured played almost no role in either grade or career goal, as well as verifying the internal validity of the self-schema measure used. Biology students were more likely to possess a science self-schema than psychology students (χ2 (1,179) = 7.34, p < .01) and outperformed psychology students on the Piagetian questions (t(177) = 3.01, p < .01). Response latency was recorded for all participants' answer to the Piagetian questions; contrary to prediction however, the inclusion of response latency did not add to the predictive ability of the Piagetian measure used. ^

Subject Area

Education, Guidance and Counseling|Education, Educational Psychology|Psychology, Developmental|Education, Sciences

Recommended Citation

Patanella, Daniel Francis, "Assessing predictors of science grades and career goals in university undergraduates" (2003). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3083154.