Epistemic Cognition


Contributor: William Sandoval

Epistemic cognition is the study of thinking about knowledge and knowing, specifically. What do people think knowledge is? How is knowledge produced? How do decide that we or someone else knows something? Then, how does our thinking about knowledge and knowing influence our efforts to learn things, and to use knowledge across various settings?

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Syllabi and Slides

Epistemic Cognition slides by Clark Chinn
Epistemic Cognition examples by William Sandoval

Video Resources

Listen to the Epistemic Cognition webinar featuring Clark Chinn

Listen to the Epistemic Cognition webinar featuring William Sandoval


  • Barzilai, S., & Zohar, A. (2012). Epistemic thinking in action: Evaluating and integrating online sources. Cognition and Instruction, 30, 39-85.
  • Chinn, C. A., Buckland, L. A., & Samarapungavan, A. (2011). Expanding the dimensions of epistemic cognition: Arguments from philosophy and psychology. Educational Psychologist, 46, 141-167. [Access Online]
  • Chinn, C. & Sandoval, W. (2018) Epistemic Cognition and Epistemic Development. In International Handbook of the Learning Sciences. Routledge.
  • Herrenkohl, L. R., & Cornelius, L. (2013). Investigating elementary students’ scientific and historical argumentation. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 22(3), 413-461.
  • Hofer, B. K. & Bendixen, L. D. (2012). Personal epistemology: Theory, research, and future directions. In K. R. Harris, S. Graham & T. Urdan (Eds.), APA Educational Psychology Handbook (Vol. 1: Theories, constructs, and critical issues, pp. 227-256). Washington, DC: American Psychological Assoc.
  • Louca, L., Elby, A., Hammer, D. & Kagey, T. (2004). Epistemological resources: Applying a new epistemological framework to science instruction. Educational Psychologist, 39(1), 57-68.
  • Rosenberg, S., Hammer, D., & Phelan, J. (2006). Multiple epistemological coherences in an eighth-grade discussion of the rock cycle. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 15, 261-292.
  • Sandoval, W. A. (2012). Situating epistemological development. In J. van Aalst, K. Thompson, M. J. Jacobson & P. Reimann (Eds.), The future of learning: Proceedings of the 10th international conference of the learning sciences (Vol. 1, pp. 347-354). Sydney: International Society of the Learning Sciences. [Access Online]

Learning Scientists Who Have Researched This Topic

  • Clark Chinn
  • William Sandoval