Exploring Epistemological Beliefs and  Conceptual Change in Undergraduate          Psychology StudentsArmin Günther, Günte...
Projects•    Developing Professional Information Literacy in Psychology     Development of blended learning modules adapti...
„Learning Psychology“ – Levels of Conceptual ChangeLevel 1: Domain knowledgeChanging psychological concepts: What is „inte...
Domain Specific Epistemological Beliefs Mean agreement with epistemological statements about research on psychological and...
Model of Universal Developmental StagesOn what stage of epistemological development do peoplethink about the nature of kno...
Model of Domain Specific Epistemological AppraisalWhat do people think about the nature of knowledge andknowing in a speci...
Teaching the “Science of Psychology”  APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology MajorLeibniz-Zentrum für Psychologis...
Suggestions for Research [1/2]1. Researching conceptual change in psychology   undergraduates should not be restricted to ...
Suggestions for Research [2/2]3. The „Model of Universal Developmental Stages“ is   not appropriate for studying changes i...
Changes of Epistemological Beliefs of                Psychology Students              Impressions From a Pilot StudyLeibni...
Theory• Perry (1970): Developmental model        absolute                   relativistic            post-relativistic• Hof...
Theory• Perry (1970) describes the development of  epistemological beliefs as a sequence of  successive stages.• Hofer (20...
Hypothetical Shifts                     absolute                                      relativisticBeginning students      ...
Methods• 3 groups of psychology students:   – 1st year students (n = 22),   – 3rd year students (n = 21),   – PhD students...
Results• ANOVA:   – no significant group differences on the scales     “stability“, “complexity“, “source“   – significant...
Mean Differences „Justification“                        absolute                               relativistic1st year studen...
Conclusions• Results do not support the hypothesis (hypothetical shifts).• Possible reasons:   – “relativistic shift“ migh...
Literature• Estes, D., Chandler, M., Horvath, K. J., & Backus, D. W. (2003).  American and British college students’ epist...
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Günther, A., Krampen, G., Schui, G., Mayer, A.-K., Peter, J. & Leichner, N. (2012, September). Exploring epistemological beliefs and conceptual change in undergraduate psychology students. (PDF) 8th International Conference on Conceptual Change, Trier.

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Günther, A., Krampen, G., Schui, G., Mayer, A.-K., Peter, J. & Leichner, N. (2012, September). Exploring epistemological beliefs and conceptual change in undergraduate psychology students. (PDF) 8th International Conference on Conceptual Change, Trier.

  1. 1. Exploring Epistemological Beliefs and Conceptual Change in Undergraduate Psychology StudentsArmin Günther, Günter Krampen, Gabriel Schui, Anne- Kathrin Mayer, Johannes Peter, Nikolas Leichner 8th International Conference on Conceptual Change September 1 to 4, 2012 University of Trier, GermanyLeibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier
  2. 2. Projects• Developing Professional Information Literacy in Psychology Development of blended learning modules adaptive to • Level of domain knowledge • Level of information literacy• Conceptual Change in Undergraduates Longitudinal study of psychology and computer business majors • Domain knowledge • Epistemological beliefs • Information literacyLeibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier
  3. 3. „Learning Psychology“ – Levels of Conceptual ChangeLevel 1: Domain knowledgeChanging psychological concepts: What is „intelligence“,„personality“, „phobia“, „accommodation“…?Level 2: Domain-specific epistemological beliefsChanging the concept of psychology as a science: What kind ofknowledge is attainable in psychology?Leibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier
  4. 4. Domain Specific Epistemological Beliefs Mean agreement with epistemological statements about research on psychological and biological development From: Estes, Chandler, Horvath, & Backus (2003). American and British college students’ epistemological beliefs about research on psychological and biological development. Applied Developmental Psychology, 23, 632.Leibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier
  5. 5. Model of Universal Developmental StagesOn what stage of epistemological development do peoplethink about the nature of knowledge and knowing? High Medium Low Stages of Epistemological DevelopmentLeibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier
  6. 6. Model of Domain Specific Epistemological AppraisalWhat do people think about the nature of knowledge andknowing in a specific domain? Psychology • Not reliable, subjective, everybody is a psychologist, „soft science“, … Biology • Reliable, objective, only experts/scientists know the facts, „hard science“, …Leibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier
  7. 7. Teaching the “Science of Psychology” APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology MajorLeibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier
  8. 8. Suggestions for Research [1/2]1. Researching conceptual change in psychology undergraduates should not be restricted to psychological concepts (domain knowledge), but also include the concept of psychology as a science (domain-specific epistemological beliefs).2. The epistemological concept of psychology may be significantly different between novices (undergraduates) and experts (scientists, teachers). More research is needed how students and teachers cope with this difference.Leibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier
  9. 9. Suggestions for Research [2/2]3. The „Model of Universal Developmental Stages“ is not appropriate for studying changes in undergraduates‘ epistemological beliefs about the nature of psychological knowledge.Leibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier
  10. 10. Changes of Epistemological Beliefs of Psychology Students Impressions From a Pilot StudyLeibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier
  11. 11. Theory• Perry (1970): Developmental model absolute relativistic post-relativistic• Hofer (2000): Dimensionality of e.b. epistemological beliefs stability complexity source justificationLeibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier
  12. 12. Theory• Perry (1970) describes the development of epistemological beliefs as a sequence of successive stages.• Hofer (2000) distinguishes between four sub- dimensions of epistemological beliefs.• The development, decribed by Perry (1970) might be observable in each of Hofer´s (2000) dimensions.Leibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier
  13. 13. Hypothetical Shifts absolute relativisticBeginning students absolute relativisticAdvanced students absolute relativisticPhD studentsLeibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier
  14. 14. Methods• 3 groups of psychology students: – 1st year students (n = 22), – 3rd year students (n = 21), – PhD students (n = 21)• Questionnaire: k = 46, rating of agreement (1-7), 23 absolute, 23 relative statements• Cronbach´s alphas of the four scales: .69 - .74 Leibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier
  15. 15. Results• ANOVA: – no significant group differences on the scales “stability“, “complexity“, “source“ – significant differences on the scale “justification“ (F = 7.07, df 2/55, p < .01) Leibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier
  16. 16. Mean Differences „Justification“ absolute relativistic1st year students 1 2 3 4 5 6 7Mean (SE): 4.25 (.15) absolute relativistic>= 3rd year students 1 2 3 4 5 6 7Mean (SE): 3.57 (.17) absolute relativisticPhD students 1 2 3 4 5 6 7Mean (SE): 4.36 (.17)Leibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier
  17. 17. Conclusions• Results do not support the hypothesis (hypothetical shifts).• Possible reasons: – “relativistic shift“ might occur earlier, – Conceptions in a postrelativistic stage might lie outside of the absolute-relativistic dimension.• Mean differences on “justification“: – Study of psychology contains a broad education of methods and criteria. – 3rd year students have low research experience. Leibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier
  18. 18. Literature• Estes, D., Chandler, M., Horvath, K. J., & Backus, D. W. (2003). American and British college students’ epistemological beliefs about research on psychological and biological development. Applied Developmental Psychology, 23(6), 625-642.• Hofer, B. K. (2000). Dimensionality and Disciplinary Differences in Personal Epistemology. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(4), 378–405.• Perry, W. G. (1970). Forms of Intellectual and Ethical Development in the College Years: A Scheme. New York: Holt Rinehart & Winston. Leibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID), Trier

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