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THE EFFECTS OF EPISTEMIC BELIEFS IN SCIENCE AND GENDER DIFFERENCE ON UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ SCIENCE-TEXT READING: AN EYE-TRACKING STUDY

  • Fang-Ying YangEmail author
  • Rui-Ting Huang
  • I-Ju Tsai
Article

Abstract

The primary purpose of this study was to explore not only the effects of epistemic beliefs in science on science-text reading but also the gender differences in epistemic beliefs and the reading process. The interactions between gender and epistemic beliefs during reading were also explored. A total of 25 university students, 13 male and 12 female, were paid to participate in the study. The scientific epistemological beliefs (SEBs) questionnaire was used to probe the subjects’ epistemic beliefs in science, while the eye-tracking method was employed to record their science-text reading process. It was demonstrated that the participants in the study had developed sophisticated SEBs. Complicated SEBs were associated with higher cognitive attention to the reading of data-related information but less mental effort to fact, scientific explanations, and the microview photos. As for the gender difference, female students displayed less mental effort in comprehending scientific explanations, but attended more to data and the microview graphic. It is argued that female learners are better at processing textual information. Interactions between SEBs and gender were found and discussed.

Keywords

epistemic beliefs eye movements eye tracking gender difference science-text reading scientific epistemological beliefs 

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Copyright information

© Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Institute of Science EducationNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Business AdministrationNational Chung Hsing UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Earth SciencesNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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