What Do Psychology Students Know About What They Know in Psychology?

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Abstract

We report results using 3 metacognitive measures to assess what psychology students know about their knowledge of psychology, using a new test called the Test of Psychological Knowledge and Misconceptions (TOPKAM). In 2 samples, regression analyses showed that students’ global ratings of their knowledge of psychology significantly predicted TOPKAM number correct, but the 2 retrospective measures of monitoring, that is, mean certainty ratings of the correctness of individual TOPKAM items and students’ postdiction estimates of their total TOPKAM scores, did not. Although students were generally overconfident of their knowledge of psychology, those performing more poorly on the TOPKAM showed more overconfidence. We discuss the implications of these and earlier findings for designing instruction to reduce psychological misconceptions.

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