Epistemic beliefs and critical thinking of Chinese students

Ngai Man Chan*, Irene T. Ho, Kelly Y L KU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Two studies were carried out to examine the relationship between epistemic beliefs and critical thinking. In the first study, 138 Chinese undergraduates completed the adapted Epistemic Beliefs Inventory (EBI) and the Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment Using Everyday Situations. Their cognitive ability and thinking dispositions were also measured. Results showed that other than cognitive ability, the belief that knowledge is certain was most related to thinking performance. In the second study, 111 undergraduates read a passage on a controversial issue and were asked to indicate their position, explain the reasoning behind, and rate their confidence in judgment. They were then presented relevant counterarguments and asked to respond to them. Participants were also administered the adapted EBI. There was clear evidence that those believing knowledge to be certain exhibited poorer two-sided thinking and a stronger tendency to devaluate or ignore counterarguments. Implications for the enhancement of critical thinking are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-77
Number of pages11
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese student
  • Critical thinking
  • Epistemic belief
  • Epistemology
  • Individual difference


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