Gender differences in the motivational and cognitive components of intellectual helplessness in language and mathematics

Sylwia Bedyńska 1  ,  
SWPS Uniwersytet Humanistycznospołeczny
Studia Psychologiczne 2018;56(3)
Publication date: 2017-07-01
Supplementary files
The aim of the research was to examine the differences between female and male students on the scales of intellectual helplessness. Our definition of the intellectual helplessness addressed two components: motivational, defined as low engagement, lack of internal motivation, inclination to negative emotions; and cognitive component related to attention deficits and difficulties in learning new material. The results showed that female high school students tend to present higher scores on the general intellectual helplessness scale as well as on its cognitive component subscale during mathematics lessons. However, there were no gender differences in motivational component. Interestingly, in a secondary school, there were no gender differences on both cognitive and motivational subscales. Moreover, the results obtained during the Polish language lessons in high schools showed a higher level of general intellectual helplessness among male students compared to female students. However, the results showed the opposite tendency in a secondary school where students obtained higher scores on the cognitive subscale of intellectual helplessness compared to motivational. Results are discussed in terms of gender identity and stereotype threat.
Sylwia Bedyńska   
SWPS Uniwersytet Humanistycznospołeczny, Chodakowska 19/31, 03-815 Warszawa, Polska