Date of Degree

9-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Educational Psychology

Advisor

Joan Lucariello

Committee Members

David Rindskopf

Laura Rabin

Bruce Homer

Deborah Hecht

Subject Categories

Educational Psychology

Keywords

research methods, statistics, assessment, research literacy

Abstract

Research literacy refers to the knowledge and application of statistics and research methods knowledge. Research literacy is important because it enables individuals to become autonomous lifelong learners and informed research consumers. Compared to other types of literacies (e.g., informational, statistical, scientific, etc.), research literacy in the social sciences has received limited attention in psychological theory and research. As a result, assessments of research literacy have notable limitations. Some assessments place undue emphasis on content knowledge of statistics and research methods neglecting the application of knowledge, others present items in a de-contextualized manner, exploring conceptions or attitudes toward research itself rather than research literacy; and some ask respondents to report subjective assessments of their own research literacy as a means of assessment. The aim of the current research was to assess research literacy in undergraduate students in a reliable and valid way by developing the Critical Research Literacy Assessment (CRLA), an assessment that is more comprehensive (tapping diverse sub-domains believed to be part of research literacy) and uses contextually valid testing formats that tap both knowledge and application domains of research literacy. Results demonstrated that the CRLA was a reliable assessment. Evidence for concurrent, divergent, and criterion validity was also found.

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