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Attitude was defined by Eagly & Chaiken, (1993) as psychological tendency that is

expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor.


Attitudes toward learning chemistry is very important concept that can be described
as the students views of knowledge, assessment, laboratory activities, and the
roles of instructors and students according to Berg (2005). Many researchers have
investigated attitudes by studying variables or by examining its relation to a specific
aim such as achievement (Albert, Aschenbrenner, & Schamolhover, 1989).
Researches in science and chemistry education show that gender and academic
major can affect attitudes toward science and chemistry. Many researchers found
that boys exhibited significantly more positive attitudes toward science and
chemistry than girls such as Lowery, Browyer and Padilla (1980), Baker (1983),
Simpson and Oliver (1985), Pogge (1986), Oliver and Simpson (1990), Erylmaz,
(1992); zyrek and Erylmaz, (2001). Some researcher such as Maple & Stage,
(1991) and Archer & McDonald, (1991) revealed that females had avoidance of
additional science courses. Schibeci (1984) stated that females exhibit more
positive attitudes toward biology and males toward physics. The American
Association of University Women- AAUW (1992) data shows the need to focus more
attention on the development of positive attitudes toward science with females. The
females become less confident of their academic skills as they progress through
secondary grades, therefore, their career aspirations are narrowed (AAUW, 1992;
Linn & Hyde, 1989). National Science Foundation data (NSF, 1994) shows that
females consist 46% of the labor force with only 22% of the scientists being female.
Besides this, Barrington and Hendricks (1988) have concluded that there was no
gender difference with respect to attitudes toward science. It is known that selfcompetence level plays important role in attitudes toward chemistry. A positive
correlation was found between gender and attitude towards chemistry by Morgil and
Seken (2004). They have also found that self-efficacy belief of male student
teachers was higher than female ones supporting the similar studies made by Betz
& Hackett (1981), Jones & Wheatley (1990), Brophy (1985) and Akar & Dnmez
(2006). Smithers and Robinson (1988) also have found a declining interest in
chemistry for young people. There is Essays in Education Special Edition 91 a
widespread scientific ignorance in general populace according to Durant and Bauer
(1997); Durant, Evans, and Thomas (1989); Miller, Pardo, and Niwa (1997). On the
other hand, House of Lords (2000); Jenkins (1994) and Lepkowska (1996) stated that
an increasing recognition of the significance and economic utility of scientific
information and its cultural background has become a matter of social concern and
debate. In addition, the concept of attitudes toward chemistry is often poorly
investigated and not understood well.

http://www.usca.edu/essays/specialedition/Mustafa%20Ozden.pdf

An Investigation of Some Factors Affecting Attitudes toward Chemistry in University


Education

Motivation and Attitudes


A number of authors have shown that the
relationship between aspects of the social
environment and student emotional aspects
maybemediatedbyothervariablessuchas
controlrelated appraisals and valuesrelated
appraisals [25,26]. Therefore, competence
support,autonomysupport,expectations,and
feedback that students receive from others
haveanimpactontheircognitiveappraisals
and these are the main sources of their
emotional dispositions. When studying
attitudes, it is important to take into
consideration the role of these mediated
variables where we can include the
motivation features of each student. In this
sense, Wigfield [27], in reading specific

domain,maintainsthatattitudes,realizedas
the individuals feelings towards reading,
could be related to the motivation of the
individualconcernedbecausetheyinfluence
howmuchindividualsinvolvethemselvesin
reading activities. Attitudes are affective
responses that accompany a behavior
initiated by a motivational state [28].
Attitudescanthereforebelinkeddirectlyto
motivationandprovidekeyinformationtoa
better understanding of attitudinal and
motivational processes. In the domain of
mathsthereislittleresearchthatstudiesthe
relationships between motivation and
attitudes.However,anumberofstudieshave
highlightedsomespecificassociations.Singh
et al. [2] used two sets of items to tap
motivation, one related to attendance of
school and classes and another to
participation and preparedness for math
classes. The authors concluded that

mathematics attitude was affected by


motivational factors since significant direct
effects of .19 and .21, of these two
motivation components were identified in
student attitudes. Students who displayed
school behavior associated with low
motivation (e.g., coming late to school,
skippingclasses,comingunpreparedwithout
booksandhomework)hadamorenegative
attitude toward mathematics. Other authors
have taken into consideration Effort as an
indicator of motivation [29,30]. Reynolds
andWalberg[30]usingstructuralequation
modeling to analyze diverse factors effects
on maths performance and attitudes with
11th grade students, identify a significant
effect on motivation in math attitudes.
Hemmings and Kay [29] in a study with
10thgradestudentsalsoverifiedthatEffort
was positively and significantly related to
mathattitudes.

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cdr/2012/876028/

Abstract sample

Thispaperaimstounderstandhowcertain
differentbutinterrelatedvariablessuchas
background,motivation,andsocialsupport
couldleadtoanexplanationofstudent
attitudestowardsmathandtoan
understandingofthedefiningcharacteristics
oftheseattitudesintheschoolenvironment.
Participantsconsistedof1719Portuguese
students,fromfifthtotwelfthgrade.The
studyutilizesanadaptationoftheIntrinsic
MotivationInventoryassessingmain
determinantsofintrinsicmotivation.One
sectionofthequestionnaireInmyMath

Classalsoassessesstudentperceptionsof
teacherandpeersupportaswellasstudent
attitudes.Theresultsrevealedthat,in
general,studentsheldpositiveattitudes
towardsmathematicsandalsohighlightedthe
maineffectsofgradeandmathachievement
ontheseattitudes.Nogendereffectwas
identifiedalthoughthegirlsshoweda
continuousdeclineinattitudesthefurther
theyprogressedinschool.Ahierarchical
analysisusingstructuralequationmodeling
showedthatmotivationrelatedvariablesare
themainpredictorsofattitudestowards
mathematicsandthatteachersandthesocial
supportofpeersarealsohighlysignificantin
understandingtheseattitudes.