Psychological research and the epistemological approach to argumentation Academic Article uri icon


  • Much psychological research on argumentation focuses on persuasion and pragmatics. However, one strand investigates how average people understand the nature of knowledge and knowing, and how these epistemological orientations underlie skilled argumentation. The research reviewed addresses the question whether the normative emphasis of the philosophical epistemological approach to argumentation matches psychological findings. The empirical research reviewed concerns the relationship between personal episte- mological understanding and three aspects of argument: argument construction, identification of informal reasoning fallacies, and orientation toward explanation or evidence. Findings suggest that people develop an epistemological approach toward argumentation in which beliefs about knowledge justification requirements are related with skilled argumentation.

publication date

  • January 1, 2008