Personal Epistemologies: Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analyses

Dissertation, University of Notre Dame (1993)

Abstract
Psychology and philosophy have both played important roles in articulating theories about knowledge processes and limits. A brief look at some of the confusing issues regarding the realms of epistemology are followed by a discussion of theories and research which bear on the issue of individual epistemology as a personality variable. ;The studies involved the comparison of two different theoretical models regarding personal epistemologies. One model specifies two constructs , represented by one bipolar factor. The second model involves three discrete constructs: empiricism, rationalism, and metaphorism. It was hypothesized that personal epistemologies are better represented by three discrete factors than by one continuous factor. ;Although constructs of the two theories bear some resemblance, the similarities and differences of the assessment devices and their constructs were compared in a series of three analyses . A second study tested the construct validity of three traits , as measured by three different methods using confirmatory factor analysis. ;While the exploratory factor analysis lent support to the three-factor model, confirmatory factor analysis supported a two factor model
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