Math-Biology Values Instrument

Front page of the MBVI pamphletWe developed and validated the Math-Biology Values Instrument (MBVI) as a measure of life science majors attitudes toward using mathematics in biology (Andrews et al. 2017).

The MBVI was developed using expectancy-value theory (Eccles et al. 1983, Wigfiled and Eccles 2000), which posits that students' performance on a task and their choice of tasks (e.g. course choice) are influenced by the values they place on a task.

The 11-item survey uses Likert-type responses (strongly disagree to strongly agree) to measure life science majors': (1) interest in using mathematics to understand biology, (2) perceptions of usefulness of mathematics for students' future life science careers, and (3) perceptions of the cost of including math in biology courses (e.g. extra effort or worries about grades).

The MBVI is available for use in research and teaching (click on the image to the right for a pamphlet which includes the full MBVI and instructions, or follow the link below to the open-access journal article on the development and validation of the MBVI).


Andrews, S.E., Runyon, C., Aikens, M.L. (2017). The Math-Biology Values Instrument: Development of a tool to measure undergraduate life science majors' task-values toward using math in the context of biology. CBE - Life Sciences Education 16:ar45.

Eccles, J., Adler, T.F., Futterman, R., Goff, S.B., Kaczala, C.M., Meece, J.L., Midgley, C. (1983). Expectancies, values, and academic behaviors. In J.T. Spence (Ed.), Achievement and achievement approaches (pp. 75-146). San Francisco, CA: W.H. Freeman and Company.

Wigfield, A., Eccles, J.S. (2000). Expectancy-value theory of achievement motivation. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 68-81.