Learning from refutation texts about scientific topics with analogical and causal explanations

Rina Miyata Harsch, Panayiota Kendeou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Previous research has suggested that refutation texts are effective in facilitating learning and revision of misconceptions and that explanations are an essential component in their efficacy. In this study, we investigated the extent to which reading refutation texts featuring an analogy as an explanatory tool rather than a causal explanation results in different encoding processes during reading, belief in misconceptions, and confidence in beliefs. Using a think-aloud methodology, we found that a higher proportion of text-based inferences was associated with analogy texts than with non-analogy texts, and a higher proportion of knowledge-based inferences was associated with non-analogy than with analogy texts. Contrary to our hypotheses, no significant differences were found in belief in misconceptions and confidence outcomes between the text conditions. We discuss the implications of these findings in light of previous research suggesting that analogies improve learning outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102172
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Writing of this paper was supported in part by Guy Bond Chair of Reading funds to P. Kendeou.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Inc.


  • Analogy
  • Comprehension
  • Inference-making
  • Learning
  • Refutation texts


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