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The Credibility Principle and Teacher Attitudes Toward Science

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Ralph E. Martin

This study was undertaken to determine if the credibility principle of attitude change applied in the multi-variable context of a team-taught education methods course. Defined as respondent perceptions of communicator expertise and trustworthiness, credi- bility is believed to be the probable producer of attitude changes. Six education team members functioned as independent variables while the dependent variables consisted of preservice teacher attitudes toward science and science teaching as well as perceptions of team member credibility and attitudes.
Three principal team members were perceived as being most credible. Repeated measures on the dependent variables increased toward the perceived levels of the principal educators. Results of this study support the credibility principle, in general, but additional findings indicate that credibility alone is not the probable producer of attitude changes.
Contents: Learning theory and attitude change - credibility principle as a model for attitude change - Credibility characteristics - Attitude changes in science education - Attitude changes in teacher education.