A Major in Science? Initial Beliefs and Final Outcomes for College Major and Dropout
AbstractTaking advantage of unique longitudinal data, we provide the first characterization of what college students believe at the time of entrance about their final major, relate these beliefs to actual major outcomes, and, provide an understanding of why students hold the initial beliefs about majors that they do. The data collection and analysis are based directly on a conceptual model in which a student’s final major is best viewed as the end result of a learning process. We find that students enter school quite optimistic/interested about obtaining a science degree, but that relatively few students end up graduating with a science degree. The substantial overoptimism about completing a degree in science can be attributed largely to students beginning school with misperceptions about their ability to perform well academically in science.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19165.
Date of creation: Jun 2013
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Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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Other versions of this item:
- Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner, 2013. "A Major in Science? Initial Beliefs and Final Outcomes for College Major and Dropout," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20134, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education and Research Institutions
- J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-07-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2013-07-05 (Education)
- NEP-SOG-2013-07-05 (Sociology of Economics)
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