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The doubtful science: An investigation of predictors of trust in science among university students

Hartung, Laura T. (2021) The doubtful science: An investigation of predictors of trust in science among university students.

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Abstract:Introduction: Since the Covid-19 pandemic, trust in science is shrinking. However, the loss of trust in science and its executants is not a new phenomenon and the concept of trust issues in science reaches beyond those of the pandemic.To overcome the loss in trust, the predictors of trust in science have to be examined. Objective: The aim of this study is to see which factors predict trust in science among University students. In particular, this study focuses on students of the University of Twente. Furthermore,a comparison analysis was conducted. Here, the aim was to find out if significant differences appear between the technical and non-technical students. Methods: For the purpose of this study, an online questionnaire among students of the University of Twente (N=255) was conducted. To measure students' trust in science, the questionnaire asked for the predictors of trust in science, as well as the respondents’ knowledge in science and their attitude towards science. Furthermore, the predictors “Religion”, “Trust in Media”, “Trust in Scientists” and “Reputation of Scientific Institution” were measured. Results: The insights gathered suggest that, in general, the trust in science of students at the University of Twente is relatively high. Nevertheless, differences appeared between technical and non-technical students. Findings show that technical students have a higher trust in science as well as a higher scientific literacy compared to non-technical students. Conclusion: Based on the given results, it can be said that the trust in science in both technical and non-technical students is high. Several predictors were proven to be an antecedent of trust. Furthermore, “Study Faculty” was found to be another predictor of trust in science.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies BSc (56615)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/86505
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