Students’ epistemic worldview preferences predict selective recall across History and Physics texts
domain generality, epistemic beliefs, mechanism, organicism, selective recall, text comprehension
This study evaluates the psychological reality of two sets of epistemic beliefs, or epistemic ‘worldviews’, called mechanism and organicism. One author who described these two worldviews, Stephen Pepper, hypothesised that they appear to possess domain-general characteristics. Although Pepper’s ideas have had a small presence in research across a variety of knowledge domains, they have been overlooked by epistemic beliefs researchers. This paper introduces Pepper’s epistemic worldviews to epistemic beliefs researchers by empirically demonstrating their purported domain-general capabilities. Participants read two texts about the French Revolution and quantum mechanics containing both mechanist and organicist descriptions. Then, they recorded as much as they could recall from both texts. Analyses of these free recall data reveal a significant interaction between participants’ worldview preference and the type of text that they recall across both texts. The data are interpreted to support the hypothesis that mechanism and organicism possess domain-general properties when learning from a text.
Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Forsyth, Benjamin Robert, "Students’ epistemic worldview preferences predict selective recall across History and Physics texts" (2016). Faculty Publications. 1134.