Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2018

Document Type


First Advisor

Derek Braun

Second Advisor

Cara Gormally


A common observation in higher education is that most deaf undergraduate students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) do not continue on to STEM careers. A smaller pool of deaf individuals persists in STEM and succeed in becoming scientists. Various reasons may explain this observation, one of which may involve personality traits. Certain personality traits have been found in scientists in the general population that differ from the general population: scientists have greater extraversion, conscientiousness, and openness on the Big Five Inventory (BFI) However, no study has focused on personality traits in deaf scientists. This study sought to discover whether deaf scientists have personality traits which may have allowed them to persist in science careers. Findings indicate that, just like scientists in the general population, deaf scientists exhibit more extraversion and openness than deaf aspiring scientists. However, unlike scientists in the general population, deaf scientists also exhibit more agreeableness than deaf aspiring scientists.



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