Epistemological Beliefs of Undergraduate Students as Function of Gender and Academic Level
10 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2014
Date Written: February 6, 2014
Epistemological beliefs are those concerning the structure or the nature of knowledge and knowing, including definitions of knowledge, how knowledge is constructed, how knowledge is evaluated, and reflects the viewpoint of the individual about what and how knowledge can be acquired and the degree of certainty. The present study sought answers to the following questions: What are the overall epistemological beliefs of undergraduate students? Do epistemological beliefs of undergraduate students differ by gender? Do epistemological beliefs of undergraduate students differ by academic level? Epistemological beliefs scale comprising 62 items measuring five components of beliefs (i.e. Quick Learning, knowledge, Certain Knowledge, Omniscient authority, innate ability, and simple knowledge) was administered to a sample of 154 undergraduate students from the Faculty of Education at University of Malaya. Descriptive statistics, Two way MANOVA, multiple comparisons, and ANOVA analyses were used. Results indicated that: (1) participants had sophisticated beliefs on Innate ability, whereas they had a naïve belief on Certain knowledge, (2) males scored higher than females in innate ability, whereas both males and female are similar in Quick Learning, Certain Knowledge, Omniscient authority, and simple knowledge), (3) Quick Learning and Innate ability were found to decrease with increase in academic level.
Keywords: Certain Knowledge, Innate ability, Omniscient authority, Quick Learning, Simple
JEL Classification: I21
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