Journal of Educational Research
Taylor & Francis
Students often hold misconceptions that conflict with scientific explanations. Research has shown that refutation texts are effective for facilitating conceptual change in these cases (Guzzetti, Snyder, Glass, & Gamas, 1993). The process through which refutation texts have their effect is not clear. The authors replicated and extended previous research investigating cognitive processes involved in the refutation text effect. Undergraduates read either a refutation or an expository text on seasonal change. Individual reading times were recorded. Participants’ conceptions were measured at pretest, posttest, and delayed posttest. Results showed that readers spent less time reading the refutation paragraph compared to the expository paragraph. The refutation text group had fewer misconceptions at posttest. These findings suggest that refutation text processing differences mirror similar findings in the attention literature, which may account for their effectiveness.
Broughton, S. H., Sinatra, G. M., & Reynolds R. E. (in press). The nature of the refutation text effect: An investigation of attention allocation. The Journal of Educational Research.