|Funding||Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)|
|Grant Term||2 years (2018-2020)|
|Principal Investigator||Dr. Tom Rosman|
|Project Staff||Martin Kerwer, M. Sc.|
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. (2018). Mechanisms of Epistemic Change – Under which circumstances does diverging information support epistemic development? Frontiers in Psychology 9:2278.