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Table 2 Intrinsic value definition and examples of participants’ statements

From: Early year undergraduate researchers’ reflections on the values and perceived costs of their research experience

Category Definition Subcategories Sample participant statements
Intrinsic value Participants indicated their interest and enjoyment of engaging in research Finding research and/or research process interesting, exciting, and enjoyable Participant 9: Research is pretty different from what we do in class, so I found that really interesting. It is not just memorizing things, it is actually trying new things and coming up with your own ideas, which I thought was really cool.
Participant 5: Once you see your data and once you see the results and it is something that you expect, that is just that surreal feeling that you are actually doing something right. It is important in that you are actually trying to make a difference somehow because as humans, we all make a difference whether we like it or not. We all thrive to do that. But it gives you that surreal feeling of saying, “Hey, I am involved in research.”
Finding the relationships in the laboratory interesting and enjoyable Participant 20: I think I learned there are a lot of different positions in labs with the graduate students and undergraduates. They all work together though, and they are all really good at delegating things. I think that was really interesting. But they all have a really good relationship with everyone, and especially they took me into the lab and showed me how to do everything, so I think that is it in terms of relationships even though I am an undergrad student, they are very respectful.
Participant 1: The people whom I work with have made it more enjoyable. If I did not talk to the grad students as much as I did, if I did not have my weekly meetings with my professor, I do not think I would have liked it as much as I do. I figure it would have made it much more difficult and not as nice to go to every day.