In this study, we investigated whether refutation texts (i.e., texts that explicitly state and refute a misconception) facilitate spontaneous transfer of revised knowledge to new situations. In Experiments 1 and 2, students read refutation, transfer, and non-refutation texts. Transfer texts were either preceded by refutation (Experiment 1) or non-refutation texts (Experiment 2). In both experiments, comprehension of the transfer texts required activation and use of the correct belief. Each text contained a target sentence that was consistent with the correct belief. In both experiments, reading times of the target sentences were collected and compared to provide an implicit measure of transfer. Additionally, a transfer problem test was also administered after reading the texts to assess transfer in a more explicit way. The results revealed that refutation texts are more effective in facilitating revision and spontaneous transfer of revised knowledge than non-refutation texts. These results add to the growing body of evidence for the applicability of using refutation texts in revising misconceptions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research is part of the research program Brain and Cognition: Societal Innovation in Health, Education and Safety (HCMI), which is financed by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), under grant number 056-33-018. The research reported in this paper has been made possible through support from the Leiden Brain & Education Lab, the Reading + Language Lab at the University of Minnesota, the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, and the Leiden University Fund/van Walsem. The authors wish to thank the students who participated in the experiments and research assistant Bader Mohsen who collected the data for Experiment 2.
- Knowledge revision
- Refutation text
- Transfer text