Am I a Science Person? A Strong Science Identity Bolsters Minority Students’ Sense of Belonging and Performance in College

Susie Chen, Kevin R. Binning, Kody J. Manke, Shannon T. Brady, Erica M. McGreevy, Laura Betancur, Lisa Limeri, Nancy Kaufmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Identifying as a “science person” is predictive of science success, but the mechanisms involved are not well-understood. We hypothesized that science identity predicts success because it fosters a sense of belonging in science classrooms. Thus, science identity should be particularly important for first-generation and racial-minority students, who may harbor doubts about belonging in science. Two field studies in college Introductory Biology classes (Ns = 368, 639) supported these hypotheses. A strong science identity predicted higher grades, particularly for minority students. Also consistent with hypotheses, Study 2 found that self-reported belonging in college mediated the relationship between science identity and performance. Furthermore, a social belonging manipulation eliminated the relationship between science identity and performance among minority students. These results support the idea that a strong science identity is particularly beneficial for minority students be
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-606
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

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