Individual group differences in the perception and knowledge of psychological research

Martin, G. Neil, Sadler, Sharon J. and Baluch, Bahman ORCID logoORCID: (1997) Individual group differences in the perception and knowledge of psychological research. Personality and Individual Differences, 22 (5) . pp. 771-774. ISSN 0191-8869 [Article] (doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(96)00256-5)


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: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Language, Learning and Cognition group
ISI Impact: 1
Item ID: 3482
Depositing User: Devika Mohan
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2009 06:14
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:16

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