ERIC Number: EJ1019406
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Undergraduates' Ability to Recognize Correlational and Causal Language before and after Explicit Instruction
Mueller, Jon F.; Coon, Heather M.
Teaching of Psychology, v40 n4 p288-293 Oct 2013
The ability to distinguish between correlational and causal claims is core knowledge for scientific literacy. News reports of scientific research prominently feature these claims. Thus, this knowledge has significant real-world application, and distinguishing among claims is critical to making sense of the reported research. We constructed an introductory psychology course with a series of brief exercises and assessments designed to improve students' abilities to both understand the core concepts of correlation and causation and to apply their knowledge to real-world situations. Pre-post data on definitions and research in the news headlines revealed that students improved on both tasks by the end of the term.
Descriptors: Undergraduate Students, Direct Instruction, Recognition (Psychology), Introductory Courses, Psychology, Correlation, Critical Thinking, Thinking Skills, Scientific Literacy, Formative Evaluation, Summative Evaluation, Skill Development, Student Improvement, Instructional Effectiveness, Concept Formation, Causal Models, Program Effectiveness
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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