Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivators of Why Women Enter STEM

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Name: Marian Overfield
Major: Psychology
Advisor: Meredith Hope

This study examines the relationship between types of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors and motivation levels. Demographically, this study looked at female identifying individuals at the undergraduate level, who had already declared their major. Women from the College of Wooster completed surveys on reasons why they had decided to major in STEM. Surveys also asked whether they felt a sense of belonging or not within their specific department, based on peer and faculty interaction and appreciation. Data was analyzed using bivariate correlations, ANOVAs, and linear regressions. No significant results were found for the first two hypotheses, however trending positive data was found against hypothesis three, where women of Southeast Asian descent had highest levels of sense of belonging out of any ethnicity.

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Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2022 on April 26, 2022.

4 responses to “Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivators of Why Women Enter STEM”

  1. Bambi Vargo says:

    Hi, Marian, My daughter is a COW alum (’13) and STEM grad (geology). What does your research tell us about strategies to attract and retain women of color in STEM? Congratulations on your research!

  2. Bryan K says:

    Hi Marian – Thanks for sharing your results in this important area of work.

  3. Jillian Morrison says:

    Hi Marian, Thanks for sharing your results! This is an important topic that needs lots more research and lots more work done to attract and retain more WOC in STEM!

  4. Carina Arnosti says:

    Congrats Marian! You mentioned gender a bit in the discussion, do you think other kinds of marginalized identities (religions, sexuality, etc.) would have similar motivators and senses of belonging in STEM?

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