Adults’ Views About Knowing and Believing
In this chapter, the authors offer summary of how the adults they surveyed articulated their notions of knowledge and beliefs. In order to build a rich picture of adults’ views of knowing and believing, they explain the understandings of individuals with varied educational experiences who were differentially dedicated to the study of knowledge and beliefs. To make sense of adults’ views about knowing and believing, the authors explore responses to each question of their experimental task in turn. While knowledge was public in that it was widely accepted, beliefs were private in that they represented personal understandings or interpretations. Some contentious and contemporary issues that served as personal evidence for the adults were homosexuality, multiculturalism, abortion, and the use of steroids. For those adults immersed in the study of knowledge and beliefs, there was a convergence between the personal and the professional in the experiences that they shared.