Epistemological beliefs and thinking about everyday controversial issues
MetadataShow full item record
The Journal of psychology. 2002 Jan; 136(1): 5-20.
The authors investigated the relationship between individuals' beliefs about the nature of knowledge and the nature of learning (epistemological beliefs) and their thinking about everyday controversial issues. Adults (N = 174) ranging in age from 17 to 71 years old with a mean age of 38 completed the Schommer Epistemological Questionnaire (M. Schommer, 1990), which assessed their beliefs in the certainty and organization of knowledge and the speed and control of learning. After they had completed the questionnaire, they responded to a series of questions about two controversial issues that had been discussed in the local newspaper. Regression analyses indicated that the more the participants believed in complex and tentative knowledge, the more likely they were to take on multiple perspectives, be willing to modify their thinking, withhold ultimate decisions until all information was available, and acknowledge the complex, tentative nature of everyday issues. Epistemological beliefs that are heavily influenced by a higher level of education appear to relate to thinking beyond the classroom, and introducing controversial issues into the curriculum may reciprocally foster the development of epistemological beliefs.
Click on the DOI link below to access the article (may not be free).