Psychology-specific epistemological beliefs are believed to influence students’ approach to and performance in psychology courses. However, empirical research on this topic is limited due in part to a lack of well-validated instruments measuring this construct. The primary objective of the current research was to develop and validate the Psychology-Specific Epistemological Belief Scale (Psych-SEBS), a short self-report instrument measuring psychology-specific epistemological beliefs. Study 1 addresses the structural validity, internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and convergent validity of the Psych-SEBS. Study 2 addresses the criterion-related and incremental validity of the Psych-SEBS. Findings indicated acceptable psychometric properties of this instrument and its 3 subscales: significance of psychology research, subjective nature of psychology knowledge, and predictability of human behavior. Scores on Psych-SEBS scales were significantly associated with construct-relevant outcomes, including student interest and performance in psychology courses, and explained unique variance in these outcomes beyond that explained by existing instruments.
Type (DCMI Terms)
Teaching of Psychology
First Page Number
Last Page Number
McMahan, E. A., Renken, M. D., & Nitkova, M. (2015). Initial Validation of an Instrument Measuring Psychology-Specific Epistemological Beliefs. Teaching of Psychology, 42 (2). http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0098628315569927
This is the authors' accepted manuscript, after peer review. The version of record, with the publisher's formatting and copyediting, is copyrighted by Sage and can be found at: http://top.sagepub.com/content/42/2/126.abstract