Factors driving volunteers’ interest in science careers: self-efficacy, social support and satisfaction

Yu Yu Chang, Chia Pin Kao*, Kuen Yi Lin, Michael Osborne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Citizen science initiatives offer an informal way to encourage the general public to engage in science learning, and contributes to the development of a more stable supply of science professionals by arousing volunteers’ enthusiasm for a science career. This study aimed to identify the contribution that science service makes to volunteers’ experience and the influence it has on the relationship between their experience and beliefs, and on their eventual career orientation. This study tested the effect of social cognitive variables on volunteers’ career interests in science using Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT). The sample consisted of 241 volunteers taking part in a science volunteer project which is administered by the Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) and PROCESS Macro 4.1 to test the structural relationships and mediating hypotheses proposed in this study. Building on the SCCT, our findings indicated that self-efficacy in science service, satisfaction with science service, and social support are contributing factors to the science volunteers’ career interest in a scientific profession. This study adds to the SCCT literature by clarifying how a volunteer-based citizen science initiative as an informal science learning platform may affect the participants’ career decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-233
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan


  • Self-efficacy
  • Social cognitive career theory
  • Social support
  • Volunteerism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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