June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Educational Research and Methods
This research paper examines the relationship between engineering graduate students’ salient identities and their perception of research task difficulty. Data analyzed in this paper is from a larger project examining graduate student experiences in the United States. We contacted 693 institutions, to measure engineering graduate students’ salient identities while doing research tasks and their perception of difficulty of tasks such as reading journal articles, conducting research, and attending conferences via electronic survey. A linear regression was used to examine the relationship between task difficulty and salience of researcher, scientist, and engineering identities for 1,482 students. We also tested if this relationship was moderated by demographics such as gender identity and degree type. The linear regression model indicated that researcher identity salience was a significant predictor (β = 0.245; t(1,479) = 9.693; p < 0.05) of engineering graduate students’ perceived task difficulty. Specifically, perceived difficulty decreased with the higher salience of one’s researcher identity. These findings are supported in identity-based motivation literature which posits that as students leverage an applicable identity (i.e., researcher, scientist or engineer) when completing a task, their perception of task difficulty decreases.
Satterfield, D. J., & Tsugawa, M. A., & Perkins, H., & Bahnson, M., & Cass, C., & Kirn, A. (2019, June), Engineering Graduate Students’ Salient Identities as Predictors of Perceived Task Difficulty Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32725
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