Personal epistemology of university students: Individual profiles

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The aims of this study were to examine and compare the consistency of personal epistemology profiles among university students representing three academic disciplines. Student interview data (N = 87) were analyzed in order to reveal students’ conceptions of knowledge, thinking and reasoning. The individual answers were examined and rated on a scale from absolutist to evaluativist thinking. On the basis of the student answers, three personal epistemology profiles were identified from the data: a) absolutist profiles; b) relativistic profiles; and c) evaluativist profiles consisting of the subgroups entitled “limited” and “sophisticated”. The categorization of personal epistemology profiles was compared with background variables such as age, major subject and study phase. The results indicated that the personal epistemology profiles varied significantly among students on the basis of the background variables. Explanations for the consistent and inconsistent personal epistemology profiles are discussed in more detail.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducation Research International
Issue numberArticle ID 807645
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences

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