Table 2. Dimensions of epistemological beliefs (Hofer 2000, 2001).

Dimension Dimensions expressed along a continuum
  Less sophisticated view More sophisticated view
Nature of Knowledge
Certainty of knowledge Viewing knowledge as fixed or fluid Absolute truth and certainty exists Knowledge is tentative and evolving
Simplicity of knowledge Viewing knowledge as accumulation of facts or as a set of highly interrelated concepts Knowledge consists of discrete, concrete, knowable facts Knowledge is relative, contingent, and context dependent
Nature or process of knowing
Source of knowledge Viewing the source of knowledge as external or internal Knowledge originating from outside the self (e.g. an expert or external authority) Knowledge is constructed by individuals through interaction with their environment and others
Justification for knowing Justifying what is known based on loose judgment or analysis and evaluation Justification of a view through observation, authority, or on the basis of what feels right Justification of a view through active evaluation or assessment of the evidence, expertise or authority involved