The coexistence and conflict of pseudoscience belief and scientific literacy : Investigate adults’ engagement in scientific and pseudoscientific activities

Journal article


Lin, Shu-Fen and Lin, Huann-Shyang. (2019). The coexistence and conflict of pseudoscience belief and scientific literacy : Investigate adults’ engagement in scientific and pseudoscientific activities. Journal of Research in Education Sciences. 64(2), pp. 69-97. https://doi.org/10.6209/JORIES.201906_64(2).0003
AuthorsLin, Shu-Fen and Lin, Huann-Shyang
Abstract

The first purpose of this study was to investigate whether Taiwanese adults’ pseudo-scientificbeliefs and engagement in pseudo-scientific activities (i.e. watching pseudo-scientific TV programs)changed significantly. The second purpose was to investigate the relationship among science literacy,pseudo-scientific beliefs, and engagement in scientific and pseudo-scientific activities. According tothe levels of subjects’ scientific literacy and pseudo-scientific beliefs in 2015 civic science literacysurvey, a representational sample of adults was categorized into nine groups to investigate thedifference of scientific literacy, scientific and pseudo-scientific affection and practice aspects amongthree groups with different levels of pseudo-scientific beliefs, and which groups of adults had moreexperience of pseudoscience health practice. The data base of 2012 and 2015 civic science literacysurvey was analyzed. The results indicated that Taiwanese adults’ pseudo-scientific beliefsdescended significantly from 2012 to 2015, but their pseudo-scientific experience of health practices(e.g. magnetic therapy) increased significantly. The main factor that influenced adults’ participationin pseudo-scientific health practices was their pseudo-scientific beliefs, rather than their scientificliteracy. Among the adults with lows scientific literacy, youth, married, and women seem acceptmost easily pseudo-scientific belief. It is noted that people with high pseudoscientific beliefs hadsignificantly higher scores of enjoyment in scientific learning than those with medium pseudoscientific beliefs. There are more adults with high education background in the group withhigh pseudoscientific beliefs. People with higher pseudoscientific beliefs may be interested inlearning science and accept scientific and pseudoscientific things, but they lack ability to distinguishbetween science and pseudoscience. To decrease possible harm from pseudoscience, it is suggestedthat certain topics (i.e. health, medical treatment) for women to distinguish science frompseudo-science should be addressed in public science education.

Keywordsengagement in science; pseudoscience; pseudoscientific activity; scientific literacy
Year2019
JournalJournal of Research in Education Sciences
Journal citation64 (2), pp. 69-97
PublisherNational Taiwan Normal University
ISSN2073-753X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.6209/JORIES.201906_64(2).0003
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85073270770
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range69-97
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Output statusPublished
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Online2019
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Deposited21 Dec 2021
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