Science-utility and science-trust associations and how they relate to knowledge about how science works

Faculty/Professorship: Empirical Educational Research ; Personality Psychology and Psychological Assessment  
Author(s): Schoor, Cornelia  ; Schütz, Astrid  
Title of the Journal: PloS one
ISSN: 1932-6203
Publisher Information: San Francisco, California, US : Plos
Year of publication: 2021
Volume: 16
Issue: 12
Pages: 21
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0260586
Knowledge about how science works, trust in scientists, and the perceived utility of science currently appear to be eroding in these times in which “alternative facts” or personal experiences and opinions are used as arguments. Yet, in many situations, it would be beneficial for the individual and all of society if scientific findings were considered in decision-making. For this to happen, people have to trust in scientists and perceive science as useful. Still, in university contexts, it might not be desirable to report negative beliefs about science. In addition, science-utility and science-trust associations may differ from explicit beliefs because associations were learned through the co-occurrence of stimuli rather than being based on propositional reasoning. We developed two IATs to measure science-utility and science-trust associations in university students and tested the psychometric properties and predictive potential of these measures. In a study of 261 university students, the IATs were found to have good psychometric properties and small correlations with their corresponding self-report scales. Science-utility and science-trust associations predicted knowledge about how science works over and above self-reported beliefs. The results suggest that indirect measures are useful for assessing beliefs about science and can be used to predict outcome measures.
GND Keywords: Wissenschaft; Forschung; Beurteilung
Keywords: Psychological attitudes, Psychometrics, Scientists, Decision making
DDC Classification: 150 Psychology  
RVK Classification: CV 5500   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Open Access Journal: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 30. June 2022