Toward assessing scientific thinking : a qualitative analysis of student reasoning among psychology undergraduates

Bezuidenhout, Shaughn (2011-03)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The effectiveness of a research methods course on the scientific thinking skills of a group of second year psychology students was recently reported on by Kagee, Allie and Lesch (2010). As part of this study they developed an instrument, The Scientific in Psychology Scale, comprising 11 questions each of which required (a) the endorsement of one of two binary choices and (b) a written explanation detailing the reasons for the choice. However, their findings were based only a statistical analysis of (a) which allowed for a comparison between a control group and an experimental group as a whole. The present study aims to characterize the patterns of thinking at a more detailed level, by analysing the qualitative data for one of the questions. To this end, an alphanumeric scheme was devised to code the data for the two groups mentioned; namely, first year psychology students who comprised the control group, and second year psychology students who comprised the experimental group. The coding was performed at a fine-grained level from which broader categories were constructed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: 'n Verslag oor die effektiwiteit van ʼn navorsingsmetodiek kursus op die wetenskaplike denkvaardighede van ʼn groep tweedejaar sielkunde studente, was onlangs waargeneem deur Kagee, Allie en Lesch (2010). As deel van hierdie studie het hul ʼn instrument ontwikkel, Die Wetenskaplik Denking in Sielkunde Skaal, wat bestaan uit 11 vrae wat elk ʼn (a) borg van een of twee binêre keuses en (b) ʼn geskrewe verduideliking wat die redes vir die besluit, omskryf. Hul bevindings was egter net gegrond op ʼn statistiese analise van (a) wat toegelaat het vir ʼn vergelyking tussen ʼn kontrole groep en eksperimentele groep as geheel. Hierdie studie beoog om die patrone van denke op ʼn meer gedetaileerde vlak te karakteriseer, deur analise van kwalitatiewe data van een van die vrae. Ten einde dit te bereik, is ʼn alfanumeriese skema geskep om die data van die twee reedsgenoemde groepe te kodeer; naamlik, eerste jaar studente wat deel gevorm het van die kontrole groep, en tweede jaar studente wat deel gevorm het van die eksperimentele groep. Die kodering was uitgevoer op ʼn hoogs gedetaileerde vlak waaruit wyer kategorieë gekonstrueer is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6718
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