The German Physics Olympiad is an extracurricular science contest for students. Here, they have the opportunity to compete against other talented students, can do physics outside of school, and take a first step to more engagement in the domain. Yet, female students participate in the competition in fewer numbers and are disproportionally more likely to drop out of the contest earlier than the male students.

The present study hence explored the question to which extent the German Physics Olympiad provides a threatening environment for female contestants’ intentions of persisting in physics. A total of 298 participants (28% female) were surveyed with respect to stereotype and social identity threat, as well as gender identification and sense of belonging as predictors of success expectations for and value of choosing to study physics. Success expectations and value of choosing to study physics were used as a measure for career intentions within the expectancy-value model.

The results support the conclusion that the contest presents an equally supporting environment for female and male participants. We found no gender differences in success expectations for and value of studying physics. Sense of belonging and gender identification significantly predicted success expectations but not value of choosing to study physics. Female participants in the German Physics Olympiad were also neither affected by stereotype threat nor by social identity threat in their sense of belonging or gender identification.
ZeitschriftEuropean Journal of Psychology of Education
PublikationsstatusElektronische Veröffentlichung vor Drucklegung. - 09.03.2022
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  • Wissenschaftskommunikation und Talentförderung

ID: 1767785