Individual group differences in the perception and knowledge of psychological research

Martin, G. Neil and Sadler, Sharon J. and Baluch, Bahman (1997) Individual group differences in the perception and knowledge of psychological research. Personality and Individual Differences, 22 (5). pp. 771-774. ISSN 0191-8869

Full text is not in this repository.

Official URL:

This item is available in the Library Catalogue


Psychology, perhaps more than any other science, has been open to the erroneous criticism that much of the knowledge it yields is ‘common-sense’ or ‘common knowledge’. A small body of research indicates that even psychology students, when answering questions requiring a knowledge of psychological principles give incorrect but common-sense answers. Few studies, however, have compared psychology students' performance with that of other student groups. The present study administered a 38-item multiplechoice questionnaire designed to tap respondents' knowledge of psychological research to first and final year psychology, sociology, business studies, engineering and English students. Psychologists performed significantly better than did the other four groups with sociology students outscoring the engineering and business studies students. Although there was a main effect of year, with the final year students performing better than the first, there was no significant year × group interaction, indicating that individual first year groups performed no more poorly than did individual final year groups. No significant group difference was found when respondents were asked whether psychology was common sense. However, engineering students were less inclined to regard psychology as a science or a social science than was any other student group.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:School of Science and Technology > Psychology
School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Language, Learning and Cognition group
Citations on ISI Web of Science:1
ID Code:3482
Useful Links:
Deposited On:21 Dec 2009 06:14
Last Modified:07 Oct 2014 10:07

Repository staff only: item control page

Full text downloads (NB count will be zero if no full text documents are attached to the record)

Downloads per month over the past year