Katherine Muenks portait
Monday Jan. 28
Brown Bag Colloquium Series: Katie Muenks, Ph.D.

These informal lunch talks allow faculty to share their research with peers and students. We hope to encourage collaboration and awareness of the latest topics in our field.

Katherine Muenks, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology

Motivation in School: The Role of Students’, Parents’, and Teachers’ Beliefs about Academic Ability

My research is situated at the intersection of educational, developmental, and social psychology, and is broadly concerned with understanding and improving student motivation in STEM. In this talk, I examine how people’s motivational beliefs (e.g., “I am bad at math”) are shaped by personal and social-contextual factors. I will present three studies. In the first, I explore how students' perceptions of their own effort influence their self-evaluations of math ability. In the second, I examine how parents' beliefs about the fixedness of math and verbal ability predict their self-reported behaviors with their young children during challenging academic tasks. And in the third, I investigate how undergraduate students' perceptions of their STEM professors' beliefs about the fixedness of ability predict their experiences of psychological vulnerability in class, as well as their downstream engagement and performance.