'I Am an Engineer AND': A Mixed Methods Study of Socially Engaged Engineers

Title'I Am an Engineer AND': A Mixed Methods Study of Socially Engaged Engineers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsLitchfield, K, Javernick-Will, A
JournalJournal of Engineering Education
Date Published2015
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number10694730
KeywordsENGINEERS , motivation , motivations , personalities , PERSONALITY , research , SOCIAL
AbstractThis article compares the personal attributes, specifically personality traits and motivations to study engineering, of members of a prominent engineering service organization, Engineers Without Borders (EWB-USA), with the attributes of engineers who were not members. Design/Method Using an exploratory, sequential mixed methods approach that combined variable-oriented analysis of interviews and focus groups with multiple logistic regression models from responses to a national survey, we compared engineers' personality traits and motivations to study engineering.  Results indicate that both EWB-USA members and nonmembers exhibit strong personality traits for conscientiousness and emotional stability. Both members and nonmembers have similar intrinsic engineering interests and motivations. EWB-USA members have significantly stronger personality traits for openness to experience and agreeableness, stronger motivations for social good, and broader interests than do nonmembers. EWB-USA members have personal attributes that match those of other engineers, but they have broader interests and motivations than do other engineers. These differences suggest including socially engaged engineering activities in engineering may increase the number and broaden the diversity of engineering students and practitioners.
NotesLitchfield, Kaitlin 1 Javernick-Will, Amy 1; Affiliation: 1: University of Colorado; Source Info: Oct2015, Vol. 104 Issue 4, p393; Subject Term: ENGINEERS -- Research; Subject Term: SOCIAL participation; Subject Term: RESEARCH; Subject Term: MOTIVATION (Psychology); Subject Term: PERSONALITY; Author-Supplied Keyword: Engineers Without Borders; Author-Supplied Keyword: motivations; Author-Supplied Keyword: personalities; Company/Entity: ENGINEERS Without Borders USA (Organization); Number of Pages: 24p; Document Type: Article