The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher

, Volume 26, Issue 1–2, pp 11–19 | Cite as

Cross-Sectional Study on Chinese Secondary School Students’ Epistemic Beliefs and Fallacy Identification

Regular Article


Individuals hold different epistemic beliefs at different ages, and these beliefs can affect a wide range of reasoning tasks. The present study examined Chinese secondary school students’ epistemic beliefs at different grade levels, and how these related to the students’ abilities to identify various forms of fallacy with the use of a cross-sectional design. One hundred and forty-six Chinese secondary school students (Grade 7 N = 32, Grade 9 N = 40, Grade 10 N = 36, and Grade 11 N = 38) completed a 14-item Epistemic Beliefs Questionnaire and a set of fallacy tasks. CFA showed that the questionnaire measured the four dimensions of the secondary school student samples adequately. A non-linear trend of epistemic beliefs across different grades was found and analyses using MANOVA showed significant grade differences in the dimension of Certainty (Grade 7 vs. 10 vs. 11). χ2 tests showed only significant grade difference in the fallacy of Appeal to Authority (Grade 7 vs Grade 9; Grade 7 vs. 10). Finally, only grade, but not epistemic beliefs, predicted fallacy identification (Appeal to Authority) when all variables were considered in the ordinal logistic regression model. The issue of epistemic dimensions change and students’ informal reasoning ability are discussed in light of the Chinese culture.


Epistemic beliefs Chinese Fallacy identification Secondary school students 

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 85 kb)
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Copyright information

© De La Salle University 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Curriculum and InstructionThe Education University of Hong KongNew TerritoriesHong Kong, SAR
  2. 2.Hong Kong Community CollegeThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloonHong Kong, China

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