ERIC Number: EJ1024712
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
Using a Pseudoscience Activity to Teach Critical Thinking
Adam, Aimee; Manson, Todd M.
Teaching of Psychology, v41 n2 p130-134 Apr 2014
In two studies, we assessed the effectiveness of a classroom activity designed to increase students' ability to think critically. This activity involved watching and discussing an infomercial that contained pseudoscientific claims, thus incorporating course material on good research design and critical thinking. In Study 1, we used a pretest-posttest design. After the activity, students were significantly more likely to correctly identify flaws in a series of claims. In Study 2, we compared the effectiveness of this activity to a traditional lecture. Participation in the activity was more effective at increasing students' ability to critically evaluate claims than the lecture. These results suggest that short-term interventions to increase critical thinking can be successful and can be made interesting for students.
Descriptors: Critical Thinking, Active Learning, Television Commercials, Scientific Attitudes, Misconceptions, Class Activities, Classroom Techniques, Instructional Effectiveness, Pretests Posttests, College Students, Statistical Analysis, Introductory Courses, Psychology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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