Consistent results with the consistency hypothesis? The effects of epistemic beliefs on metacognitive processing

Krista Renee Muis, Panayiota Kendeou, Gina M. Franco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We explored relations between students' epistemic beliefs, metacognitive monitoring and recall performance in the context of learning physics through metaphor. Eighty-three university undergraduate students completed questionnaires designed to measure their epistemic beliefs and prior knowledge about Newtonian physics. Students were epistemically profiled as rational, empirical, or metaphorical in their approaches to knowing. Using a think-aloud protocol, students read a text on Newton's First and Third Laws. The text included metaphors as examples of the various laws described. Results revealed that students profiled as metaphorical engaged in more metacognitive processing compared to students profiled as rational or empirical. Moreover, path analyses revealed that metacognitive monitoring positively predicted recall performance. Results challenge Muis' (2008) consistency hypothesis; the ways in which knowledge is represented in text may be the linking factor for relations between metacognitive monitoring and epistemic beliefs rather than the underlying epistemology of the domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-63
Number of pages19
JournalMetacognition and Learning
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support for this research was provided by McGill University and by grants to Krista R. Muis from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (410-2007-0399), and to Panayiota Kendeou from the Fonds Quebecois de la Recherche sur la Societe et la Culture (2009-NP-125707). K.R.Muis(*) . G. M. Franco Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, McGill University, 3700 McTavish Street, Montreal, QC H3A 1Y2, Canada e-mail:


  • Epistemic beliefs
  • Knowledge representations
  • Metacognition
  • Physics learning


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