Date of Award

Spring 1992

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Carolyn J Mebert


The ability to measure the development of epistemological beliefs of 235 college students during their first-semester in college was investigated by comparing the results obtained using five different methodological approaches to measuring change. These approaches included the use of the two-wave difference score, the residual change score, the cross-time correlation matrix, repeated measures analysis of variance, and individual growth modeling. A cubic individual growth model was found to be superior to other methods in describing intraindividual differences in dualistic epistemological orientation during the transition to college. An investigation of the existence of systematic interindividual differences in growth as a function of anxiety, mood, tolerance of ambiguity, and various demographic characteristics failed to find any significant differences among four identified patterns of linear and cubic change in dualism: no change, fluctuating increase, straight increase, fluctuating decrease, and straight decrease. Suggestions are given for both future empirical investigations of epistemological development in college students and the measurement of longitudinal change in psychological constructs.