– Science identity positively impacts the likelihood of entering a science occupation. It also serves as a mediator for other factors that are related to educational success.
– Only the science identity itself, among all the factors considered, influences moving into a science occupation upon graduation.
– Persons from underrepresented groups with strong science identities are more likely to actually move into a science occupation following their graduation.
– Evidence suggests students change their science identity in the direction of their GPA, which is an objective measure of success in the science identity. The more successful are students’ school performance as measured by their GPA, the more it will raise their evaluation of being good scientists, which will lead to choosing jobs in science-related fields. This is a reflected appraisals process whereby persons change their identity to be more in line with how they are seen by significant others.
– Reducing the performance avoidance orientation (the focus on avoiding the appearance of incompetence) may help lead students to a stronger science identity and to enter a science career. If reducing a focus on avoiding the appearance of incompetence increases the science identity, their findings also reveal that an increase in the science identity reduces the focus on avoiding the appearance of incompetence. Thus, the relationship between a performance approach
orientation and the science identity is reciprocal.
– Engaging in science activities such as participating in original research also strengthens the science identity.
– Identity process is the primary mechanism through which minority students choose a science occupation. Where other theoretical processes, like goal theory, self-efficacy theory, and attitude theory have effects, they operate through the identity process.
* Science identity plays a very important role in retaining minority students.