Katherine Muenks studies achievement motivation, or the degree to which people are energized to learn, accomplish their goals, and demonstrate their performance in achievement-oriented environments such as school. In her work, she focuses on how people's beliefs about ability (e.g., How good am I at math? Is my ability fixed or changeable?) are shaped by their own perceptions, the context around them, and social others including parents, teachers, and peers. Muenks also studies how students' beliefs about ability influence their academic performance, choices in school (e.g., major in college), persistence, and well-being.
Ph.D. in Human Development, University of Maryland, 2016
B.S. in Psychology, Ohio State University, 2010
Focuses on motivation and how individual beliefs and social-contextual factors influence students achievement and academic behaviors.
Muenks, K., Canning, E. A., LaCosse, J., Green, D. J., Zirkel, S., Garcia, J. A. & Murphy, M. C. (2020). Does my professor think my ability can change? Students perceptions of their STEM professors mindset predict in-class psychological experiences. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
Muenks, K., Peterson, E. G., Green, A., Kolvoord, R. & Uttal, D. (2019). Parents beliefs about high school students spatial abilities: Gender differences and associations with parent behavior and students STEM career intentions. Sex Roles, 570–583.
Canning, E. A., Muenks, K., Green, D. J. & Murphy, M. C. (2019). STEM faculty who believe ability is innate have larger racial achievement gaps and inspire less student motivation in their classes. Science Advances, 5.
Muenks, K., Wigfield, A. & Eccles, J. S. (2018). I can do this! The development and calibration of childrens expectations for success and competence beliefs. Developmental Review, 48, 24–39.
Muenks, K. & Miele, D. B. (2017). Students thinking about effort and ability: The role of developmental, contextual, and individual difference factors. Review of Educational Reseasrch, 87, 707–735.
Muenks, K., Wigfield, A., Yang, J. S. & O'Neal, C. (2017). How true is grit? Assessing its relations to high school and college students personality characteristics, self-regulation, engagement, and achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 109, 599–620.
Review of Research Award, American Educational Research Association (AERA) (2018)
Paul Pintrich Memorial Award, American Educational Research Association (AERA) Motivation in Education Special Interest Group (2015)
Yiqiu "Echo" Yan, Ph.D., expected 2025 (Supervisor)
She is interested in studying motivation, cultural competence, mindsets(growth/fixed), student perceptions of professors/peers, program evaluation & assessment, gender differences, inter-professional education, and women in STEM.
Madeline C O'grady, M.S., expected 2025 (Supervisor)
Madeline is a First-year Ph.d. student interested in academic motivation.
Nate W Woznicki (Co-supervisor)
Nate is primarily interested in health and educational disparities related to gender and sexual orientation.