Psychological Sciences Professors Contribute Chapter in Book

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Misinformation and Fake News in Education
begin quoteRefutational teaching has worked best at instilling a long-term change in incorrect beliefs.

Psychological Sciences professors Patricia Kowalski, PhD and Annette Taylor, PhD contributed a chapter in the recently published book, Misinformation and Fake News in Education. Dr. Kowalski and Dr. Taylor have over 30 years of teaching experience. Throughout their long careers teaching psychology and researching misconceptions, they have found that some of their own beliefs about changing misconceptions were in fact, themselves misconceptions. 

Dr. Kowalski and Dr. Taylor’s chapter “How Attempting to Reduce Misconceptions in Psychology Reveals The Challenges of Change” dives into their inspiration to research misconceptions and change as well as their methodology and implementation of refutational teaching style. Attending a conference 25 years ago, both professors listened to a presenter make a claim. The claim was based on anecdotes and did not have any empirical evidence to support it. Even so, after the presenter was done many people in the audience discussed implementing the presenter's practice. Dr. Kowalski and Dr. Taylor asked themselves, 'How could a group of highly educated professors accept this presentation its face value?' and if highly educated professors believed face value claims then how do these claims and misconceptions affect student learning? This question set the baseline for their longitudinal study which examined misconceptions and the breaking of long held beliefs in the classroom setting. Their chapter dives into the difficulties of correcting misconceptions and the coinciding teaching challenges educators face. 

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