Epistemic beliefs in science: A systematic integration of evidence from multiple studies

Julia Schiefer, Peter Edelsbrunner (Corresponding author), Andrea Bernholt, Nele Kampa, Andreas Nehring

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed


Recent research has integrated developmental and dimensional perspectives on epistemic beliefs by implementing an approach in which profiles of learners' epistemic beliefs are modeled across multiple dimensions. Variability in study characteristics has impeded the comparison of profiles of epistemic beliefs and their relations with external variables across studies. We examined this comparability by integrating data on epistemic beliefs about the source, certainty, development, and justification of knowledge in science from six studies comprising N  = 10,932 German students from elementary to upper secondary school. Applying latent profile analyses to these data, we found that profiles of epistemic beliefs that were previously conceptualized were robust across multiple samples. We found indications that profiles of epistemic beliefs homogenize over the course of students' education, are related to school tracking, and demonstrate robust relations with students' personal characteristics and socioeconomic background. We discuss implications for the theory, assessment, and education of epistemic beliefs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1541–1575
Number of pages35
JournalEducational Psychology Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 503006 Educational research


  • Development
  • Epistemic beliefs
  • Latent profile analysis
  • Primary school
  • Secondary school

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