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Abstract

The purpose of this investigation has been to explore whether differences existed between gifted and nongifted fifth graders and between genders and related subgroups with respect to attitudes toward science. Both groups (N = 25) were matched on the demographic characteristics of school-site, race, sex, and socio-economic background. Gifted students were found to have more positive attitudes toward science than nongifted students; however, no significant differences were found. In all cases, boys (all boys, gifted boys, and nongifted boys) exhibited more positive attitudes toward science; again, no significant differences were uncovered between the boys and their counterpart group or subgroups. The item which consistently reflected the most positive rating (gifted students, all boys and gifted boys, and all girls and nongifted girls) was “usefulness of things done in science class.” Items where discrepancies surfaced included “usefulness of science when playing at home” where nongifted students and gifted girls were significantly more positive than their counterparts, and “spending more time doing science experiments” where all boys and gifted boys were significantly more positive than their counterparts.