S4-D&BP4-1 - Study Major, Gender, and Confidence Gap: Effects on Experience, Performance, and Self-Efficacy in Introductory Programming

3. Research Full Paper
Nea Pirttinen1 , Arto Hellas2, Lassi Haaranen2, Rodrigo Duran2
1 University of Helsinki
2 Aalto University

Full research paper---The term Confidence Gap refers to the phenomenon of men being more confident in their ability to succeed in their studies and elsewhere. It is an acknowledged phenomenon both in Computer Science as well as STEM subjects at large, likely influencing students' career path choices and selection of study major. In this work, we analyze data from multiple introductory programming courses. We do this by looking at the interaction of (1) students' performance measured in terms of completed assignments, (2) self-reported confidence in the ability to succeed in the programming course, (3) major, and (4) gender. Aligned with prior research, we observe the existence of the Confidence Gap. At the same time, men and women who chose Computer Science as their major are more confident in their ability to succeed in their first programming course than their counterparts in other subjects.