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Measuring Attitudes of High School Pupils Toward Science and Scientists

Belt, Sidney L.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Attitude Measures, High School Students, Program Attitudes, Sciences, Scientists, Stereotypes, Student Attitudes


This report was adapted from a paper presented at the Joint Session of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Section on Education and the American Educational Research Association in Chicago on December 30, 1959. The author discusses the implications of using Likert-type items in opinion surveys that result in interpretations that students do not hold science and scientists in high esteem. The image of science and scientists elicited from adolescents is highly dependent on the method of questioning used and on the type of question asked. The author argues that by utilizing a valid method for probing underlying beliefs, understandings, or perceptions of adolescents and by applying the method to an appropriate sample of American high school youth, an image is obtained which provides evidence that the future supply of scientists is virtually assured.

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