ERIC Number: EJ1032668
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 107
Addressing Challenges to Public Understanding of Science: Epistemic Cognition, Motivated Reasoning, and Conceptual Change
Sinatra, Gale M.; Kienhues, Dorothe; Hofer, Barbara K.
Educational Psychologist, v49 n2 p123-138 2014
Science is of critical importance to daily life in a knowledge society and has a significant influence on many everyday decisions. As scientific problems increase in their number and complexity, so do the challenges facing the public in understanding these issues. Our objective is to focus on 3 of those challenges: the challenge of reasoning about knowledge and the processes of knowing, the challenge of overcoming biases in that reasoning, and the challenge of overcoming misconceptions. We propose that research in epistemic cognition, motivated reasoning, and conceptual change can help to identify, understand, and address these obstacles for public understanding of science. We explain the contributions of each of these areas in providing insights into the public's understandings and misunderstandings about knowledge, the nature of science, and the content of science. We close with educational recommendations for promoting scientific literacy.
Descriptors: Social Attitudes, Scientific Attitudes, Abstract Reasoning, Attitude Change, Misconceptions, Scientific Principles, Scientific Literacy, Epistemology, Cognitive Processes, Bias
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A