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The differential development of epistemic beliefs in psychology and computer science students: A four-wave longitudinal study
ARTICLE

, , , , Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information (ZPID), Germany

Learning and Instruction Volume 49, Number 1, ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd

Abstract

This article analyses the differential development of discipline-specific epistemic beliefs (i.e., beliefs about the nature of knowledge) in computer science and psychology. With regard to computer science, a “hard” discipline, we expected absolute beliefs (knowledge as objective “truths”) to increase over time. In contrast, in the more “soft” discipline of psychology, we expected absolute beliefs to be low and stable, and multiplistic beliefs (knowledge as subjective “opinions”) to follow an inversely U-shaped trajectory. Hypotheses were tested in a three-semester long four-wave study with 226 undergraduates. Data were analysed by multi-group growth modelling for parallel processes. In computer science, absolute beliefs indeed increased over the study period. In psychology, an initial increase in multiplistic beliefs was followed by a steep decrease. We therefore suggest that epistemic “sophistication” should be conceived of as a flexible adaptation of epistemic judgments to the characteristics of specific contexts, and not as a generalized developmental sequence.

Citation

Rosman, T., Mayer, A.K., Kerwer, M. & Krampen, G. (2017). The differential development of epistemic beliefs in psychology and computer science students: A four-wave longitudinal study. Learning and Instruction, 49(1), 166-177. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved October 18, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Learning and Instruction on January 29, 2019. Learning and Instruction is a publication of Elsevier.

Full text is availabe on Science Direct: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2017.01.006

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