The systemizing brain type and the empathizing brain type represent two contrasting student characteristics.
Materials and methods:
The present study investigated the possible differences in the conceptions and approaches to learning science between systemizing and empathizing brain type students. The instruments used were questionnaires on systematizing and empathizing quotients for measuring the brain type of each student, questionnaires on student conceptions of learning science, and questionnaires on approaches to learning science.
The data was collected from students at a Korean middle school. The results of the data showed that student conceptions about learning science through tests were negatively correlated with the systemizing quotient or systemizing brain type, but not significantly correlated with the empathizing quotient or empathizing brain type. However, the concept of learning science in terms of increasing knowledge and understanding was more positively correlated with the empathizing quotient. As for the approaches to learning science, deep motive and deep strategy were more positively related with the systemizing quotient than the empathizing quotient, while the latter was more negatively correlated with surface strategy. .
Our study suggests that while students with a high systemizing quotient are more motivated to learn science, the ability to empathize is also important for successful science study.