HomeThe Manila Journal of Sciencevol. 7 no. 1 (2011)

Freshman Physics Majors’ Cognitive Expectations and Academic Performance in their Introductory Physics Course

Voltaire Mallari Mistades

Discipline: Physics, Psychology



The research investigates the extent of change in Physics majors’ cognitive expectations –beliefs about the learning process and the structure of knowledge – after going through their first Introductory Physics course. Using the Maryland Physics Expectations (MPEX) Survey, the students’ responses are compared with the responses of ‘life-long learners of physics’. The students’ post-instruction responses reflected highest agreement with the experts’ response in the Concepts, Reality Link, and Effort Link dimensions of the survey. Analysis of the beliefs profile of the students in the upper quartile compared with the beliefs profile of the students in the lower quartile revealed that a more ‘expert-like’ thinking in the Coherence, Concepts, and Effort Link dimensions is present for the students who performed academically well in class.