International Journal of Ethics Education

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 147–165 | Cite as

Predictive models of biology students’ convictions towards bioethical issues

  • Jeannemar Genevive Yap-FiguerasEmail author


This study aimed at determining B.S. Biology students’ comprehension of the Bioethics principles and conviction schemas towards bioethical issues; as well as at identifying predictors for comprehension of bioethical principles and convictions and creating model constructs of predictors which are fit for the data. One-hundred sixteen Filipino Biology majors were pre and post-tested for comprehension of bioethics principles and convictions towards bioethical issues. Predictors for comprehension and convictions among personal and family background factors, global and primary personality factors, and mental ability were identified through step-wise multiple regression. Constructed path models were tested for goodness of fit using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Results showed that case study discussion and the bioethics course had positive effects on comprehension of the bioethics principles and on convictions towards bioethical issues. Predictors for comprehension of Bioethics principles before intervention were verbal ability, warmth, and exposure to media. Sex and openness to change were predictors for pre-convictions. Post-conviction predictors were anxiety, self-control, extraversion, liveliness, and perfectionism. Four out of five model constructs were accepted based on model fit criteria. In conclusion, personal factors, i.e., sex and personality factors are contributors in bioethical convictions; not cognitive factors like mental ability or comprehension of Bioethics principles; implying that bioethical convictions are already pre-conceived and that empathy-based experiences may strengthen convictions towards bioethical issues.


Ethics education Bioethics Bioethical convictions Model constructs 



This research would not have been possible if not for the scholarship and research grant of Dr. Jeannemar Genevive Yap-Figueras under the Department of Science and Technology Science Education Institute-Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program (DOST-SEI ASTHRDP) of the Philippines, the support of West Visayas State University, particularly the University Research Center and Development for the research funding; WVSU University Testing Center, and the personal assistance of Ms. Elzie Palmes as checker and interpreter. For all of these, this the researcher is greatly indebted.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biological Sciences Department, College of Arts & SciencesWest Visayas State UniversityIloilo CityPhilippines

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