Beyond Trustworthiness: Comprehending Multiple Source Perspectives

Sarit Barzilai, Michael Weinstock

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


To make sense of informational texts it is often necessary to grasp their authors' perspectives and how these underlie the presentation of information. Comprehending source perspectives can help readers make better judgments and develop deeper understanding through consideration of alternative approaches and viewpoints. The capabilities of engaging with multiple perspectives are increasingly important in 21st-century societies in which it has become all too easy for people to sequester themselves in "echo chambers" that resonate their own viewpoints. The aims of this chapter are to explicate what comprehension of multiple source perspectives involves, how this complex epistemic performance develops, and how it might be promoted in educational settings. We first define source perspectives and describe what representation of source perspectives of informational texts entails. Subsequently, we discuss how perspective comprehension is conceived according to three theoretical approaches: theory of mind research, theories of epistemic development, and the more recent AIR model of epistemic cognition. We show that these theoretical lenses shed light on different facets of this construct. In the last section, we suggest how growth in source perspective comprehension might be fostered by drawing on a new theory of epistemic growth, the Apt-AIR framework.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Learning from Multiple Representations and Perspectives
EditorsPeggy Van Meter, Alexandra List, Doug Lombardi, Panayiota Kendeou
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780429813665
ISBN (Print)9780367001179
StatePublished - 2020


  • Epistemic development
  • Epistemic thinking
  • Multiple document comprehension
  • Perspective comprehension
  • Sourcing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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