Correlational Analysis of Intelligence Mindset, Motivation Backgrounds, and Significance of Gender Identity
The goal of this investigation was to perform a correlational analysis of the intelligence mindsets, motivational background, and significance of gender identity as factors driving student success. 42 students enrolled in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) 110: Principles of Programming with Java completed a modified Scientific Measurement Questionnaire (SMQ), a survey instrument designed to study the previously mentioned factors. This survey was modeled on a similar survey administered by Dr. Ian Gould to students enrolled in his Organic Chemistry course at Arizona State University. Following the development of a scoring system to generate quantifiable data, it was determined that students in this course displayed a greater inclination towards beliefs in malleable intelligence and in an intrinsic locus of control as opposed to a belief in static intelligence and an external locus of control. Students exhibited a multi-faceted approach in responding to the questions in the motivational background section, indicating that there were no distinctively dominating factors driving student motivation. Instead, it was observed that students generally derived motivation from these factors in a synergistic fashion. Responses to questions regarding gender indicated that while students believed that the way they were perceived by others was significantly influenced by their gender, the notion of gender identity played little to no role in their overall personal identity and self-schema. As the study was designed to offer insight into the role of gender identity and the population discrepancies within the course, it is important to note that the findings suggest gender identity is not a primary factor of concern with regard to student performance. While the data acquired suggested potential trends in student mindsets, a notable limitation of the scope of the project was the undersized sample population.