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As part of a longitudinal study into identity development in upper- level physics students a phenomenographic research method is employed to assess the stages of identity development of a group of upper-level students. Three categories of description were discovered which indicate the three different stages of identity development for this group of students: Student, Aspiring Physicist, and Physicist. The main influences on the stages of identity development were found to be: ideas of when one becomes a physicist, career definitiveness, and metacognitive level.
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