Optimizing Conditions for Learning: Situating Refutations in Epistemic Cognition

Panayiota Kendeou, Jason L.G. Braasch, Ivar Bråten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A refutation text is designed to promote conceptual change by explicitly acknowledging commonly held misconceptions about a topic, directly refuting them, and providing an accurate explanation. In this study, we determined the impact of different types of refutation texts on adolescent readers' conceptual change learning in science. Specifically, we manipulated the way the correct conception was justified and explained following work in epistemic cognition. Three different types of justification were compared to a control condition: justification by authority, justification by multiple sources, and justification by personal opinion. The findings showed that learning effects were optimized when the correct conceptions were presented in terms of a corroborated consensus among multiple sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-263
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Experimental Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016


  • beliefs
  • comprehension
  • conceptual change
  • discourse processes
  • epistemology


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