Date of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

David Reuman

Second Advisor

Dina Anselmi


This study was a continuation of the ongoing Trinity metacognition project investigating the metacognitive awareness and skills of middle school students. The present study examined whether there were gender differences in the ways metacognition is used in two different subject areas: social studies and math. It also investigated whether gender has an effect on how students use metacognition in these two school subjects. Students in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade were surveyed about their metacognitive and motivational awareness in math and social studies. Results showed that female students used metacognition more than male students in both math and social studies, and that male and female students both adopt a domain-general approach to metacognition, meaning that they use the same skills to help them learn in both school subjects. It was also found that male and female students are both motivated to learn in math and social studies, but female students showed higher engagement than male students in social studies. Female students also believed that they could enhance their abilities in social studies through time and effort more often than males. In math, males and females both believed that they could enhance their abilities through time and effort. These results suggest that female students are more likely than male students to use metacognitive skills to help them learn across school subjects, and that male and female students are usually motivated to the same degree, except female students are higher in engagement and ability beliefs than male students only in social studies.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Psychology.