Intellectual and Experiential Knowing: An Exploratory Factor Analysis to Uncover the Underlying Structure of Knowing
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Knowledge and the acquisition thereof have long been debated throughout human history. Several authors have suggested that knowing and knowledge differ among people. However, there is consistency among these studies that suggests a dualism within Western philosophy where a person exists of a mind and a body—two distinct and separate entities—with the mind as the central point of knowing. The theoretical framework for this study suggests that the dualism representation is limiting. Further, it posits that the body is also a central point for knowing. Hence, the Ways of Knowing Scale (WoKS) was developed in an attempt to measure the two separate ways of knowing through two subscales: experiential knowing (EK) and intellectual knowing (IK). This study serves as a presentation of the theoretical and philosophical framework for the WoKS as well as a pilot study and psychometric analysis. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was implemented using data collected from a sample of n = 686 respondents on an initial pool of 22 items. Each of these items was constructed to reflect one of the two proposed constructs, hence two subscales (11 items per subscale). Although two constructs were originally hypothesized, a three-factor solution exhibited the closest approximation to simple structure; further, the three factors provided the most interpretable and meaningful solution. Two of the factors appear to correspond to the two original constructs suggested by theory. The various potential explanations for this third factor are considered. Future research is needed to further explore the nature of this emergent factor and subsequently refine the WoKS.