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Psychology-specific epistemological beliefs are believed to influence students’ approach to and performance in psychology courses. However, empirical research on this topic is limited due in part to a lack of well-validated instruments measuring this construct. The primary objective of the current research was to develop and validate the PsychologySpecific Epistemological Belief Scale (Psych-SEBS), a short self-report instrument measuring psychology-specific epistemological beliefs. Study 1 addresses the structural validity, internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and convergent validity of the PsychSEBS. Study 2 addresses the criterion-related and incremental validity of the PsychSEBS. Findings indicated acceptable psychometric properties of this instrument and its 3 subscales: significance of psychology research, subjective nature of psychology knowledge, and predictability of human behavior. Scores on Psych-SEBS scales were significantly associated with construct-relevant outcomes, including student interest and performance in psychology courses, and explained unique variance in these outcomes beyond that explained by existing instruments.


Author Accepted manuscript (post peer-review) version of an article published in:

McMahan, E. A., Renken, M. D., & Nitkova, M. (2015). Initial Validation of an Instrument Measuring Psychology-Specific Epistemological Beliefs. Teaching of Psychology, 42 (2).