LaForge, Robert [faculty advisor, Department of Psychology]
research; research methods; education
This study explores college students’ misconceptions about scientific research methods and their predisposition for rational-analytic thinking or experiential-intuitive thinking. The measures used in assessing misconceptions and thinking style were a seven-item version of Students’ Conceptions of Research Methods Inventory (SCoRI), specifically the misconceptions of research methods subscale (Meyer et al.(2005), and Epstein’s Rational-Experiential Inventory (REI) Scale (1996), respectively. The REI Scale consists of two subscales adapted from the Need for Cognition scale (NFC, J. T. Cacioppo & R. E. Petty, 1982) and Epstein’s Faith in Intuition (FI) scale, each with five questions; REI-NFC measures rational-analytic thinking, while the REI-FI measures experiential-intuitive thinking. 371 students (67% females) enrolled in either introductory Psychology or Communications at the University of Rhode Island completed a survey regarding their attitudes towards scientific research methods. Students were given course credit for completing the online survey. Results demonstrate a negative relationship between misconceptions of research methods and rational-analytic thinking, whereas experiential-intuitive thinking was unrelated to misconceptions of research methods.