Knowledge Revision Processes in Refutation Texts

Panayiota Kendeou, Erinn K. Walsh, Emily R. Smith, Edward J. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


In the present set of experiments, we systematically examined the processes that occur while reading texts designed to refute and explain commonsense beliefs that reside in readers' long-term memory. In Experiment 1 (n = 36), providing readers with a refutation-plus-explanation of a commonsense belief was sufficient to significantly reduce disruption during reading caused by the commonsense belief. In Experiment 2 (n = 36), the refutation alone reduced but did not eliminate the disruption during reading caused by the commonsense belief. However, in Experiment 3 (n = 36), the explanation alone was as effective as the refutation-plus-explanation in reducing disruption during reading. Finally, in Experiment 4 (n = 73), the refutation-plus-explanation manipulation not only reduced disruption during reading caused by the commonsense belief, it also produced long-term learning outcomes. Findings are discussed in the context of the Knowledge Revision Components framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-397
Number of pages24
JournalDiscourse Processes
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Jul 2014


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