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Having an attitude toward technology: Rethinking PATT studies from a theoretical perspective to study students’ attitudes toward technology
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Division of Learning, Aesthetics, Natural Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3106-0722
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Attityd till teknik : Teoretiska perspektiv på PATT-studier för att studera eleves attityder till teknik (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Attitudes are complex and consist of emotions, beliefs, and behavior. The overall aim of this thesis is to contribute to a theoretically anchored understanding of attitudes toward technology by exploring the three components of attitudes: affective, cognitive, and behavioral among 12-15-year-old students in Sweden.  

This thesis includes three research papers (I, II, III) and one book chapter (Paper IV) that are based on data from two studies. Data (student interviews N=6 and survey N=173) from the first study was used in Papers I, II and IV, and data (student survey N=485) from the second study were used in Paper III.     

In Paper I, an existing attitude survey (PATT) is validated for use in a Swedish context. In Paper II, an instrument to quantify students’ perceptions of technology and technology education is developed This instrument is used to study the cognitive component of attitudes and is named the Mitcham Score. In Paper III, the methods developed in Paper I and II are used to study the relationships among the affective, cognitive, and behavioral components of attitudes. In Paper IV, students’ perceptions of technology are discussed as a starting point for teachers, when planning and teaching technology. 

The methods developed throughout the thesis prove useful to research the different components of attitudes. The Mitcham Score can give insights into students’ perception of technology as well as be used as a construct of the cognitive component of attitudes. The PATT survey categories called Boredom and Interest measure students’ feelings (affect), while the category called Career was seen as assessing the behavioral component. The affective component, Interest, was related to both the cognitive component and the behavioral component. A high Mitcham Score, or in other words a broad perception of technology, seems to be a key concept for girls to consider technological careers.   

Abstract [sv]

Attityder är komplexa och kan påverkas av olika faktorer, såsom känslor, övertygelser och beteenden. Det övergripande syftet med denna avhandling är att bidra till en teoretiskt förankrad förståelse av attityder till teknik genom att utforska de tre komponenterna av attityder: affektiva, kognitiva och beteendemässiga, bland 12–15-åriga elever i Sverige.  

Avhandlingen innehåller tre artiklar (Paper I, II, III) och ett bokkapitel (Paper IV) som är baserade på data från två studier. Data (elevintervjuer N=6 och enkät N=173) från den första studien användes i Paper I, II och IV, och data (elevenkät N=485) från den andra studien användes i Paper III.     

I Paper I valideras en befintlig attitydenkät (PATT) för användning i en svensk kontext. I paper II utvecklas ett instrument för att kvantifiera elevers uppfattningar om teknik och teknikundervisning, detta instrument utvecklades för att kunna studera den kognitiva komponenten av attityder och kallas Mitcham Score. Paper III utgår från de metoder som utvecklats i Paper I och II för att studera sambanden mellan de affektiva, kognitiva och beteendemässiga komponenterna av attityder. I Studie IV diskuteras elevers uppfattningar om teknik som en utgångspunkt för lärare, för att planera och undervisa teknik.  

De metoder som utvecklats i avhandlingen visar sig vara användbara för att undersöka de olika komponenterna av attityder. Mitcham Score kan ge insikter i elevernas uppfattning om teknik samt användas för att bedöma den kognitiva komponenten av attityder. Den använda PATT-enkätens kategorier som kallas Tråkighet och Intresse mäter tydligt elevernas affektiva komponent medan kategorin som kallas Karriärssträvan mäter den beteendemässiga komponenten. Den affektiva komponenten, Intresse, relaterade till både den kognitiva och den beteendemässiga komponenten. Högt Mitcham Score, eller med andra ord bred uppfattning om vad teknik är, verkar vara en nyckelfaktor för att flickor ska överväga en karriär inom teknik.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2024. , p. 99
Series
Studies in Science and Technology Education, ISSN 1652-5051 ; 126
Keywords [en]
Attitudes, Technology Education, PATT, Mitcham Score
Keywords [sv]
Attityder, Teknikundervisning, PATT, Mitcham Score
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-201743DOI: 10.3384/9789180756099ISBN: 9789180756082 (print)ISBN: 9789180756099 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-201743DiVA, id: diva2:1845534
Public defence
2024-04-12, K1, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Norrköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-03-19 Created: 2024-03-19 Last updated: 2024-03-19Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Understanding attitude measurement: Exploring meaning and use of the PATT short questionnaire
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding attitude measurement: Exploring meaning and use of the PATT short questionnaire
2018 (English)In: International journal of technology and design education, ISSN 0957-7572, E-ISSN 1573-1804, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 67-83Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The pupils’ attitudes toward technology survey (PATT) has been used for 30 years and is still used by researchers. Since it was first developed, the validity of the questionnaire constructs has primarily been discussed from a statistical point of view, while few researchers have discussed the type of attitudes and interest that the questionnaire measures. The purpose of this study is to increase the knowledge about student interpretations and the meaning of their answers in the recently developed PATT short questionnaire (PATT-SQ). To research this, a mixed methods approach was used, where the qualitative data from six interviewees (students aged 14) help to explain and interpret the quantitative data from 173 respondents (students aged 12–15). The interviewed students completed a Swedish version of the PATT-SQ 3 weeks prior a semistructured interview. The results from this study imply that the PATT-SQ survey can be used mostly as it is, but this study also shows that there are some categories that require some caution when being analyzed and discussed. For example, the gender category cannot be used as intended since it does not measure what it is supposed to and it might be gender-biased. The interest category can advantageously be reduced to four items to focus on school technology, which will indicate how deep a student’s well-developed individual interest is. And the career category seems to only detect students’ who urge a career in technology, while the other students lack knowledge about what that career might be and therefore they are not interested in such a career.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Science+Business Media B.V., 2018
Keywords
Attitudes; Interest; Technology education; PATT
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-133346 (URN)10.1007/s10798-016-9392-x (DOI)000425323800004 ()2-s2.0-85006930137 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-12-21 Created: 2016-12-21 Last updated: 2024-03-19Bibliographically approved
2. The Mitcham Score: quantifying students’ descriptions of technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Mitcham Score: quantifying students’ descriptions of technology
2020 (English)In: International journal of technology and design education, ISSN 0957-7572, E-ISSN 1573-1804, Vol. 30, no 5, p. 995-1014Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A central issue when measuring students’ attitudes toward an object is the children’s understanding of that object, in this case, technology. Studies have shown that schoolchildren often describe technology narrowly as different kinds of technological objects; more specifically, modern electrical objects. This may mean that we have been measuring students’ attitudes toward modern technological objects for more than 30 years. This study intends to research what other aspects students potentially describe, when describing technology, and how the descriptions can be implemented in attitudes toward technology research. To visualize and analyze different aspects of technology, Carl Mitcham’s philosophical framework of the manifestations of technology is used. The deductive method used for analysis quantifies students’ descriptions of technology, for use in attitude, and other quantitative, studies. In this study, descriptions of technology and technology education from 164 students (aged 12–15) are analyzed, classified and quantified within Mitcham’s typology (technology as Object–Activities–Knowledge–Volition). The student descriptions are compared to the typology and students score a point for every one of the four aspects of technology they describe. The sum of aspects in the description is named The Mitcham Score. The results of this study show that students can describe technology in a broad way using all four aspects of Mitcham’s typology. In line with previous studies, the most common way is to describe technology as objects and activities using the objects. Technological knowledge has not been in focus in previous studies of student descriptions. In this study, 44.5% of the students mention technological knowledge in their descriptions of technology. Measurement using the Mitcham Score provides a method to study both students’ concepts of technology and the factors that might affect this. The Mitcham Score is potentially one more factor to use in analyzing students’ attitudinal profiles. The method is sufficiently reliable and enables a broad understanding of students’ attitudes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2020
Keywords
Technology education · Attitudes · Concepts of technology · The Mitcham Score · PATT
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-164110 (URN)10.1007/s10798-019-09530-8 (DOI)000574226700010 ()
Available from: 2020-03-05 Created: 2020-03-05 Last updated: 2024-03-19
3. Students attitudes toward technology: exploring the relationship among affective, cognitive and behavioral components of the attitude construct
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Students attitudes toward technology: exploring the relationship among affective, cognitive and behavioral components of the attitude construct
2022 (English)In: International journal of technology and design education, ISSN 0957-7572, E-ISSN 1573-1804, Vol. 32, no 3, p. 1531-1551Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

When studying attitudes toward technology education, the affective attitudinal component has primarily been the focus. This study focuses on how the affective, cognitive and behavioral attitudinal components of technology education can be incorporated using a two-step survey: the traditional PATT-questionnaire (PATT-SQSE) and the recently developed Mitcham Score questionnaire. The aim of this study is to explore the relationship among the cognitive, affective and potential behavioural components of students attitudes toward technology in a Swedish context, using the PATT-SQ-SE instrument including the Mitcham score open items. Results of the analyses show that relationships among the attitudinal components are observable. The results also imply that relationships among the attitudinal components are different for girls than boys. A key factor for the participating students attitudinal relations was interest (affective component) in technology education. An individual interest in technology education was related to both the cognitive component and behavioral intention. Another key relationship, for girls, was that the cognitive component had a strong relationship with behavioral intention, which was not the case for boys. Based on the observed relations between the cognitive, affective and behavioural components we have identified two key implications for educational practice: Girls should learn a broader conception of technology in technology education, if we want them to pursue technology-related careers to a higher degree; Students interest in technology should be stimulated through engaging tasks in technology education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2022
Keywords
Technology education; Attitudes; Attitude measurement; PATT; Mitcham score
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-173642 (URN)10.1007/s10798-021-09657-7 (DOI)000617818700001 ()
Note

Funding Agencies|Linkoping University

Available from: 2021-02-26 Created: 2021-02-26 Last updated: 2024-03-19
4. Carl Mitcham: Descriptions of Technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Carl Mitcham: Descriptions of Technology
2019 (English)In: Reflections on Technology for Educational Practitioners: Philosophers of Technology Inspiring Technology Education / [ed] Dakers, John R. Hallström, Jonas. de Vries, Marc J., Boston, MA: Brill Academic Publishers, 2019, p. 13-24Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Boston, MA: Brill Academic Publishers, 2019
Series
International Technology Education Studies, ISSN 1879-8748 ; 16
Keywords
Mitcham Score, Technology Education, Conceptions of Technology, Descriptions of technology
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-157709 (URN)9789004405493 (ISBN)
Available from: 2019-06-19 Created: 2019-06-19 Last updated: 2024-03-19Bibliographically approved

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Svenningsson, Johan

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