Focal topic “Epistemic beliefs and critical scientific thinking”

Project details

Funding Budgetary funds
Grant Term April 2016 -
Principal Investigator Dr. Tom Rosman
Project Staff -

 

Project Description

Since the rise of the internet, scientific knowledge is readily available to everyone. Individuals can use such knowledge to form an opinion about everyday issues or to make sensible and purposeful decisions: Should I worry about climate change? Is red wine really good for the heart? Should I raise my children bilingually?

Individuals differ in their beliefs whether research is able to provide universal answers to such questions. Moreover, they are often unsure whom to trust when findings from different studies contradict each other. In short: Individuals have very different perceptions about the nature of scientific knowledge. For example, one person might view scientific knowledge as an accumulation of absolute "facts" whereas another person might think of such knowledge as subjective "opinions" of researchers. Psychology and educational research investigate such phenomena under the umbrella term "epistemic beliefs ".

The focal topic »epistemic beliefs« focuses on how changes in epistemic beliefs might be induced through specialized interventions. Moreover, the effects of epistemic beliefs (e.g., on critical thinking or epistemic emotions) are investigated in the context of individuals dealing with conflicting information. For example, we empirically showed that confronting students with contradictory findings and inciting them to resolve the controversies by identifying moderating variables might be well-suited to induce epistemic change towards more differentiated epistemic beliefs.

Various cooperation projects have arisen in the context of the focal topic:

  • The effects of epistemic beliefs on the perceived practical value of general pedagogical knowledge in teacher education
    Dr. Samuel Merk (University of Tübingen), Dr. Jürgen Schneider (University of Tübingen), Julia Ruess (HU Berlin), Dr. Marcus Syring (LMU Munich)
  • Differential changes in teacher education students' epistemic beliefs in the context of a research-orientated seminar.
    Dr. Myriam Schlag (University of Mainz)
  • The interplay between subjective abilities and subjective study demands in teacher education students
    Dr. Carla Bohndick (University of Hamburg)
  • Psychology-specific epistemic beliefs across various academic fields Dr. Eva Seifried (Heidelberg University)

 

Publications

2018

2017

2016

2015

 

Talks/Posters

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

Contact person

Dr. Tom Rosman
Deputy Head "Research Literacy"

+49 (0)651 201-2284