In a sample of 281 Norwegian upper-secondary school students, structural equation modeling was used to test hypothesized relationships between beliefs about justification for knowing, interest, and knowledge across two controversial socio-scientific topics: climate change and nuclear power. Results indicated that beliefs in justification by multiple sources had a positive direct effect on knowledge about climate change and positive indirect effects on knowledge about both topics mediated by topic interest. Beliefs in personal justification had only a negative direct effect on knowledge about climate change, and beliefs in justification by authority were not related to knowledge about any of the topics, neither directly nor indirectly. Findings are considered in light of the existing literature on epistemic beliefs concerning justification for knowing and suggestions for future research are offered.
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