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A New Way of Assessing Ways of Knowing: The Attitudes Toward Thinking and Learning Survey (ATTLS)

Abstract

In four studies, college students (both male andfemale, predominantly white) filled out a 50-item surveyconsisting of statements illustrating“separate” (critical, detached) and“connected” (empathic) ways of knowing (Belenky, Clinchy, G oldberger,& Tarule, 1986). The instrument showed acceptableinternal reliability. Scores on the two scales wereuncorrelated, supporting the view that the twoepistemological positions are independent. Females consistentlyrated connected knowing (CK) statements higher thanseparate knowing (SK) statements, while males showed aslight, but non-significant difference favoring SK statements. When participants were dividedinto groups using a joint median split of the two ratingscores, females were disproportionately likely to beplaced in the High CK-Low SK group. CK and SK scores were unrelated to performance on avariety of cognitive tasks, but were related to somemeasures of preference, suggesting that ways of knowingmay function more as approaches or styles rather than basic abilities.

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Galotti, K.M., Clinchy, B.M., Ainsworth, K.H. et al. A New Way of Assessing Ways of Knowing: The Attitudes Toward Thinking and Learning Survey (ATTLS). Sex Roles 40, 745–766 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018860702422

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018860702422

Keywords

  • College Student
  • Social Psychology
  • Cognitive Task
  • Median Split
  • Basic Ability