MEPIC - Mechanisms of epistemic change in higher education

Project details

Funding Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Grant Term 2 years (2018-2020)
Principal Investigator Dr. Tom Rosman
Project Staff Martin Kerwer, M. Sc.


Project Description

In an era of post truth - with rumors, fake news, and "alternative facts" spreading quickly across the globe - recipients of scientific or science-based information are constantly required to evaluate knowledge claims and weigh controversial evidence. Epistemic beliefs (individual beliefs about the nature of knowledge) are a central predictor of such processes. For example, evaluativism - a belief that the relative "correctness" of knowledge claims varies depending on their argumentative quality, evidence, and context - has positive effects on the differentiatedness of information processing and source evaluation.
While theoretical and empirical works on the conceptualization and structure of epistemic beliefs are quite common, not much is known on the psychological processes involved in how such beliefs change over time ("epistemic change"). The MEPIC project therefore aims at empirically validating and extending the most prominent framework in this area, the Process Model for Personal Epistemology Development by Bendixen and Rule (2004). Since an adequate theoretical framework constitutes an essential prerequisite for designing good interventions, the MEPIC project will serve well to both researchers and practitioners - and, in the long term, it might even contribute to solving one of society's most pressing challenges: helping individuals to disentangle truth and untruth.


  • Kerwer, M., & Rosman, T. (2020). Epistemic Change and Diverging Information: How do prior epistemic beliefs affect the efficacy of short-term interventions? Learning and Individual Differences, 80, 101886.

  • Kerwer, M., Rosman, T. (2020). Vom Großen ins Kleine - Übertragbarkeit eines Modells der epistemischen Lebensspannenentwicklung auf den epistemischen Wandel in Kurzzeitinterventionen. Psychologische Rundschau, 71(2), 127-133.

  • Kerwer, M., Rosman, T., Wedderhoff, O., & Chasiotis, A. (2020). Disentangling the process of epistemic change: The role of epistemic volition. British Journal of Educational Psychology.

  • Rosman, T., Mayer, A.-K., Merk, S., & Kerwer, M. (2019). On the benefits of ‘doing science’: Does integrative writing about scientific controversies foster epistemic beliefs? Contemporary Educational Psychology, 58, 85-101.

  • Kerwer, M., & Rosman, T. (2018). Mechanisms of Epistemic Change – Under which circumstances does diverging information support epistemic development? Frontiers in Psychology 9:2278.

Conference Papers

  • Kerwer, M. & Rosman, T. (2019, September).
    „Hot“ epistemic change – Wie wirken sich Emotionen auf den Wandel wissensbezogener Überzeugungen aus? Paper presented at PAEPSY-Tagung 2019, Leipzig, Germany.

  • Kerwer, M., & Rosman, T. (2019, August).
    How to promote epistemic change? Effects of reading and reflecting on resolvable controversies. Paper presented at 18th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction, Köln.

  • Kerwer, M., & Rosman, T. (2019, Februar).
    Intra- und Interindividuelle Unterschiede in experimentell induziertem epistemischen Wandel. Paper presented at 7. GEBF-Tagung, Köln.

  • Rosman, T. & Kerwer, M. (2019, September).
    Die (Nicht-)Auflösbarkeit wissenschaftlicher Widersprüche und die Veränderung epistemischer Überzeugungen. Paper presented at PAEPSY-Tagung 2019, Leipzig, Germany.

  • Rosman, T., & Kerwer, M. (2019, August).
    Does resolving conflicting scientific claims lead to more nuanced views on science? Paper presented at 18th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction, Köln.

  • Rosman, T., & Seifried, E. (2019, Februar).
    Intra- und interindividuelle Unterschiede in disziplinspezifischen epistemischen Überzeugungen: Ein Vergleich von Biologie und Psychologie. Paper presented at 7. GEBF-Tagung, Köln.


Contact person

Dr. Tom Rosman
Deputy Head "Research Literacy"

+49 (0)651 201-2284