Misconceptions are widespread or commonly held beliefs explicitly contradicted by empirical evidence. When teachers harbor misconceptions or unjustified beliefs about teaching, learning, and human motivation, the potential pedagogical consequences are profound, and these inaccurate beliefs may be instilled into future students through ineffective teaching strategies and gross misinterpretations of learning science. While existing research has examined misconceptions about general psychology and neuroscience among various populations, no prior work has evaluated pre-service teachers' misconceptions about topics of educational psychology, comprising inaccurate beliefs about teaching, learning, and human motivation. The purpose of this research is to describe the development and validation of a scale to measure misconceptions about educational psychology among pre-service teachers. Employing an experimental 2 (scale: true/false, six-point Likert-type) x 2 (valence: positive, mixed) x 2 (order: true/false presented first, Likert-type presented first) factorial, repeated measures design, a randomized experiment was performed to systematically evaluate the conditions under which the proposed scale for misconceptions of educational psychology performed best. As expected, the Likert-type scale was more sensitive to detecting misconceptions relative to the true/false scale. However, contrary to extant research on the valence effect, mixed-valence scales outperformed the positively-valenced scales across conditions indicating that misconceptions are best measured with a Likert-type response format using a heterogeneous mix of positively- and negatively-valenced items rather than a homogeneous set of positively-valenced items. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Education; Methodology, Measurement and Analysis
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
McAfee, Morgan, "Development and Validation of a Scale to Measure Misconceptions About Educational Psychology Among Pre-Service Teachers" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5809.