Date of Award
Program or Major
Master of Arts
Edward J O'Brien
The goal of the present experiments was to explore the underlying cognitive processes that support individual belief revision. In three experiments the amount of relevant information pertaining to a misconception was systematically manipulated to assess the impact of text refuting a misconception and text explaining the correct information. Experiment I assessed the impact of the refutation. Experiment II assessed the joint impact of the refutation and the explanation. Finally, Experiment III assessed the impact of the explanation. Experiment I demonstrated that providing a refutation section that explicitly negated the misconception was sufficient to eliminate disruption when reading a sentence that contained the correct information. When the explanation was provided in Experiment II, the effect of the refutation increased significantly. Experiment III provided a close replication of effects found in Experiment II. The results of all three experiments support the use of text to enable the initial stages of belief revision.
Walsh, Erinn K., "Belief revision in the context of reading comprehension" (2011). Master's Theses and Capstones. 153.