Effect of an Epistemic Intervention on Belief Perseverance
Bauman, Jonathan Michael
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CitationBauman, Jonathan Michael. 2021. Effect of an Epistemic Intervention on Belief Perseverance. Master's thesis, Harvard University Division of Continuing Education.
AbstractEpistemic beliefs influence how individuals process claims about world events or scientific studies by influencing what sources they find reliable, how they determine when something is knowable, what processes they rely on for investigation, etc. Interventions have successfully advanced epistemic beliefs in specific disciplines and academic populations, but few studies have examined the effect of a general intervention on claims emanating from a range of disciplines or investigated epistemic beliefs in non-academic populations, e.g., adults without a college degree. Belief perseverance occurs when an individual holds a refuted belief, is exposed to evidence that that belief is refuted, but continues to hold the belief. This study uses a two-group repeated measure design with a one-week delay. Both groups reviewed a text aimed at reducing belief perseverance, but the experimental group was also given a brief intervention intended to advance general epistemic cognition. There was a large pre- to posttest decline in belief perseverance. The epistemic intervention also had a significant effect on belief perseverance, but there was no significant effect on epistemic cognition. This study opens a new line of research into interventions aimed at epistemic and refuted belief for adults without a 4-year college degree.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367672
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