Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Steven R. Wininger (Director), Carl Myers, Qin Zhao

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


The current study set out to determine the relationship between student grade
level, implicit views of science ability, science achievement and science interest.
Differences by grade level were also explored. The study also considered the differences in male and female implicit theories of science ability, science interest, and science achievement. Participants in the current study consisted of a total of 1910 students from six elementary schools from one south-central Kentucky district that participate in Project GEMS (Gifted Education in Math and Science). Data were analyzed by means of analysis of variance and Pearson correlations. Younger students evidenced lower scores on the implicit theories measure. No gender differences were observed in implicit theories of science ability or science interest. Females did evidence lower achievement in science than males. Implicit theories of science ability were significantly and positively correlated with science achievement. Conversely, no such relationship existed between implicit theories of science ability and interest. Limitations of the current study are discussed and possible future directions are offered. Findings from the current study underscore the importance of considering domain-specific views of ability when addressing poor science performance and when considering gender gaps in science achievement.


Child Psychology | Cognitive Psychology | Psychology | School Psychology