RESEARCH PAPER
How to distinguish a “scientoskeptic” from a “scientoenthusiast”? Psychometric properties and criteria for qualitative interpretation of the scores of the Views of Science Questionnaire in a Polish quota sample
 
 
More details
Hide details
1
Institute of Psychology, Department of Social Sciences, University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Submission date: 2020-09-03
Final revision date: 2020-11-02
Acceptance date: 2020-11-02
Online publication date: 2021-03-30
Publication date: 2021-03-31
 
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2021;9(1):66–83
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background:
The main aim of this study was to develop criteria for qualitative interpretation of the scores of the Views of Science Question-naire (VoSQ), which is a tool for measuring the level of scientistic worldview. Another goal was to verify the psychometric properties of the tool in an adequately large and demographically diverse sample.

Participants and procedure:
The study involved 1,119 participants aged 18 to 87 who filled in the Polish version of the VoSQ via the Internet. The obtained results were subjected to reliability analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and analyses aimed at developing criteria for the quali-tative interpretation of both individual and group scores of the VoSQ scales.

Results:
The CFA analysis showed a satisfactory level of fit of the VoSQ factor structure containing one higher-order factor and four sub-factors. The reliability of the tool scales was also satisfactory. The obtained results showed gender and age differences, but no differences related to the level of education. This information was used to develop the percentile-based criteria for the inter-pretation of the individual scores and the mean and standard deviation-based criteria for qualitative interpretation of the group scores.

Conclusions:
The relationship between science and its social reception is becoming an increasingly important issue. The development of crite-ria for the qualitative interpretation of the results of the Views of Science Questionnaire makes it possible to use it as a tool for diagnosing attitudes towards science, displayed by both individuals and groups. This knowledge may be useful in improving the effectiveness of social implementation.

 
REFERENCES (30)
1.
Biddlestone, M., Green, R., & Douglas, K. M. (2020). Cultural orientation, power, belief in conspiracy theories, and intentions to reduce the spread of COVID‐19. British Journal of Social Psychology, 59, 663–673. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjso.1....
 
2.
Brewer, P. R., & Ley, B. L. (2013). Whose science do you believe? Explaining trust in sources of scientific infor-mation about the environment. Science Communication, 35, 115–137. https://doi.org/10.1177/107554....
 
3.
Buhrmester, M. D., Talaifar, S., & Gosling, S. D. (2018). An evaluation of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, its rapid rise, and its effective use. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 13, 149–154. https://doi.org/10.1177/174569....
 
4.
Edis, T. (2018). Cosmic conspiracy theories: How theologies evade science: From genesis to astrobiology. In J. Seckbach & R. Gordon (Eds.), Theology and science (pp. 143–165). World Scientific Publishing.
 
5.
Escolar-Chua, R. L., & de Guzman, A. B. (2014) Effects of third age learning programs on the life satisfaction, self-esteem, and depression level among a select group of community dwelling Filipino elderly. Educational Gerontology, 40, 77–90, https://doi.org/10.1080/036012....
 
6.
Gauchat, G. (2011). The cultural authority of science: Public trust and acceptance of organized science. Public Understanding of Science, 20, 751–770. https://doi.org/10.1177/096366....
 
7.
Goertzel, T. (2010). Conspiracy theories in science. EMBO Reports, 11, 493–499. https://doi.org/10.1038/embor.....
 
8.
Gupta, N., Fischer, A. R., & Frewer, L. J. (2012). Socio-psychological determinants of public acceptance of tech-nologies: a review. Public Understanding of Science, 21, 782–795. https://doi.org/10.1177/096366....
 
9.
GUS (2015). Wartości i zaufanie społeczne w Polsce w 2015 r. [Values and social trust in Poland in 2015]. Główny Urząd Statystyczny.
 
10.
Harambam, J., & Aupers, S. (2015). Contesting epistemic authority: Conspiracy theories on the boundaries of science. Public Understanding of Science, 24, 466–480. https://doi.org/10.1177/096366....
 
11.
Hendriks, F., Kienhues, D., & Bromme, R. (2016). Trust in science and the science of trust. In B. Blöbaum (Ed.), Progress in IS. Trust and communication in a digitized world: Models and concepts of trust research (pp. 143–159). Springer International Publishing.
 
12.
Hauser, D., Paolacci, G., & Chandler, J. (2019). Common concerns with MTurk as a participant pool. In F. R. Kardes, P. M. Herr, & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Handbook of research methods in consumer psychology (pp. 319–337). Routledge.
 
13.
Imhoff, R., & Lamberty, P. (2020). A bioweapon or a hoax? The link between distinct conspiracy beliefs about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and pandemic behavior. Social Psychological and Personali-ty Science, 11, 1110–1118. https://doi.org/10.1177/194855....
 
14.
Impey, C., Buxner, S., & Antonellis, J. (2012). Non-scientific beliefs among undergraduate students. Astronomy Education Review, 11. https://doi.org/10.3847/AER201....
 
15.
Jach, Ł. (2015). Nauka jako obiekt kultu. Wprowadzenie do koncepcji scjentoteizmu [Science as an object of worship. Introduction to the theory of scientotheism]. Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego.
 
16.
Jach, Ł. (2019). Spotlight on scientotheism. Structure and psychometic properties of the questionnaire for the study of scientistic worldview aspects. The Review of Psychology, 62, 141–165.
 
17.
Jach, Ł. (2020). Światopogląd scjentystyczny – korelaty i uwarunkowania [Scientistic worldview – correlates and conditions]. Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego.
 
18.
Jach, Ł., & Chmiel, S. (2018). The reliability of advertising, the rule of social proof and the rule of scientific au-thority. Polish Journal of Economic Psychology, 13, 19–34. https://doi.org/10.15678/PJOEP....
 
19.
Kuntz, M. (2012). The postmodern assault on science. If all truths are equal, who cares what science has to say? EMBO Reports, 13, 885–889. https://doi.org/10.1038/embor.....
 
20.
McDonough, C. C. (2016). The effect of ageism on the digital divide among older adults. Journal of Gerontolo-gy and Geriatric Medicine, 2, 008. https://doi.org/10.24966/GGM-8....
 
21.
Metz, S. E., Weisberg, D. S., & Weisberg, M. (2018), Non‐scientific criteria for belief sustain counter‐scientific beliefs. Cognitive Science, 42, 1477–1503. https://doi.org/10.1111/cogs.1....
 
22.
Motta, M. (2019). Explaining science funding attitudes in the United States: The case for science interest. Public Understanding of Science, 28, 161–176. https://doi.org/10.1177/096366....
 
23.
Pinker, S. (2018). Enlightenment now: The case for reason, science, humanism, and progress. Penguin Books.
 
24.
Rhemtulla, M., Brosseau-Liard, P., & Savalei, V. (2012). When can categorical variables be treated as continu-ous? A comparison of robust continuous and categorical SEM estimation methods under suboptimal condi-tions. Psychological Methods, 17, 354–373. https://doi.org/10.1037/a00293....
 
25.
Rull, V. (2014). The most important application of science: As scientists have to justify research funding with potential social benefits, they may well add education to the list. EMBO Reports, 15, 919–922. https://doi.org/10.15252/embr.....
 
26.
Rutjens, B. T., Sutton, R. M., & van der Lee, R. (2018). Not all skepticism is equal: Exploring the ideological an-tecedents of science acceptance and rejection. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44, 384–405. https://doi.org/10.1177/014616....
 
27.
Seoyong, K., & Sunhee, K. (2015) The role of value in the social acceptance of science-technology. Internation-al Review of Public Administration, 20, 305–322. https://doi.org/10.1080/122946....
 
28.
Shtulman, A., & Valcarcel, J. (2012). Scientific knowledge suppresses but does not supplant earlier intuitions. Cognition, 124, 209–215. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogn....
 
29.
Uscinski, J. E., Enders, A. M., Klofstad, C. A., Seelig, M. I., Funchion, J. R., Everett, C., Wuchty, S., Premarat-ne, K., & Murthi, M. N. (2020). Why do people believe COVID-19 conspiracy theories? The Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Misinformation Review, 1. https://doi.org/10.37016/mr-20....
 
30.
Wessling, K. S., Huber, J., & Netzer, O. (2017). MTurk character misrepresentation: Assessment and solutions. Journal of Consumer Research, 44, 211–230. https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/uc....
 
eISSN:2353-561X
ISSN:2353-4192