This paper is a revision of the paper titled Association Between Scientific Cognition and Scientific Literacy: Implications for Learning Science (Hale, Sloss, & Lawson, 2017). In the context of the current research scientific literacy is synonymous with general scientific knowledge. Scientific cognition is different than scientific literacy; scientific cognition involves multiple components and sub-components. At the very least, scientific cognition involves philosophy of science, research methodology, probabilistic reasoning and logic (deductive and inductive). The primary interests in the study were whether or not scientific cognition and scientific literacy scores would be associated, and whether or not there would be gender differences for total scores for each scale. A bivariate analysis was conducted to test the hypothesis that there would be an association between scientific cognition and scientific literacy. Independent samples t-tests were conducted to test whether or not there was gender differences on scores from the scientific cognition and scientific literacy scale. The scientific literacy and scientific cognition assessment consisted of mostly questions derived from measuring devices used in the past. The assessments were administered as part of an online survey. The participants were 202 university students. The study was approved by the university's Institutional Review Board. The results indicate a positive relationship / correlation between scientific literacy and scientific cognition, and no gender differences for total scores from the scales. Additional analyses indicate there was gender differences for some of the questions. There was gender differences for one item from the scientific literacy assessment and for two items from the scientific cognition assessment. The research report includes a discussion on limitations of the study, implications for science education and future directions for relevant research.
Science is a large enterprise consisting of multiple components. Science is a systematic approach to knowledge. Proper use of scientific processes lead to rationalism (basing conclusion on intellect, logic and evidence). Science combats dogmatism (adherence to doctrine over rational and enlightened inquiry, or basing conclusion on authority rather than evidence) and provides a better understanding of the world. Scientific processes/ methods are unmistakably the most successful.
processes available for describing, predicting and explaining phenomena in the observable universe.
The general scientific approach to knowledge is based on systematic empiricism (Stanovich, 2007). Observation itself is necessary in acquiring scientific knowledge, but unstructured observation of the natural world does not lead to an increased understanding of the world. “Write down every observation you make from the time you get up in the morning to the time you go to bed on a given day. When you finish, you will have a great number of facts, but you will not have a greater understanding of the world” (Stanovich & Stanovich, 2003, p. 12).
Systematic Empiricism is systematic because it is structured in a way that allows us to learn more precisely about the world. After careful systematic observations, such as those in controlled studies, relationships are supported while others are rejected. Extending these observations, scientists propose general descriptions, predictions, explanations, models and inferential strategies that support observations. “We could observe end-less pieces of data, adding to the content of science, but our observations would be of limited use without general principles to structure them” (Myers & Hansen, 2002, p. 10)....
ResultsA bivariate analysis was conducted to test the hypothesis that there would be an association between scientific cognition and scientific literacy. The results of the analysis support the hypothesis, r (200)= +.33, p < .01 (two-tailed), r2 = .11. Independent samples t-tests were conducted to test whether or not there was gender differences on scores from the scientific cognition and scientific literacy scale. The results of the independent samples t-test, for men (M = 9.36, SD = 2.63) and women (M = 9.60, SD = 2.31) using total scores on scientific cognition as the dependent variable was not statistically significant, t (200) = .59, p > .05 (two-tailed), d = .10. The results of the independent samples t-test, for men (M = 10.52, SD = 1.69) and women (M = 10.31, SD = 1.64) using total scores on scientific literacy as the dependent variable were not statistically significant, t (200) = .76, p > .05 (two-tailed), d = .13....
The results show a positive association between scientific cognition and scientific literacy. The association was moderate in strength. The differences between men and women for total scores on scientific cognition and scientific literacy were not significant. The results indicate gender (men vs. women) differences (correct vs. incorrect) for three items from the online survey; one of the items from the scientific literacy assessment and two of the items from the scientific cognition assessment....
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