Essays in Education


Paulsen and Wells (1998) stated that, “it seems unlikely that substantial differences in epistemological beliefs across domains would persist in studies of faculty or other more advanced experts,” (p. 380). This statement implies the existence of an upper limit or ceiling effect in the epistemological beliefs among experts. Faculty members are ostensibly considered experts in their fields of study. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in the epistemological beliefs of faculty members as a matter of gender and academic discipline while controlling for years of experience in higher education so as to discern whether the hypothesis that an expert ceiling in epistemological beliefs could be supported. The determination of an expert ceiling in epistemological beliefs is relevant for educators as these beliefs have been linked to a variety of cognitive and motivational factors.

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