Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #73
CE Offered: PSY

The Surprising and Problematic Consequences of Exposure to Misinformation

Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Grand Ballroom AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Scott P. Ardoin, Ph.D.
Chair: Scott P. Ardoin (University of Georgia)
DAVID RAPP (Northwestern University)
David N. Rapp is Professor in the School of Education and Social Policy and the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University. His research examines language and memory, focusing on the cognitive mechanisms responsible for successful learning and knowledge failures. He investigates the ways in which prior knowledge, text materials, and learning goals influence memory and comprehension of discourse experiences. His recent projects examine how memory is influenced by the plausibility and importance of everyday events, the credibility of sources, and the collaborative nature of group discussions. These projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Institute on Aging. He received a McKnight Land-Grant Professor award from the University of Minnesota in 2006, the Tom Trabasso Young Investigator Award from the Society for Text & Discourse in 2010, was named a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence in 2015, and is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. He recently finished serving as associate editor at the Journal of Educational Psychology, and is now editor of Discourse Processes.

Prior knowledge has been a key construct for theories of memory, comprehension, and learning. And traditionally prior knowledge has been identified as a resilient source of information, standing strong in the face of even the most compelling refutations and evidence. In the current talk I describe experiments that call into question this characterization of prior knowledge. Work from my lab shows that well-worn expectations appear malleable (and sometimes even non-existent) when people are confronted with contradictory arguments and facts. Across a variety of demonstrations involving the presentation of text content containing potential misinformation, people subsequently rely on encoded inaccuracies leading to problematic and surprising demonstrations of ignorance. Even obvious misinformation, which individuals should know better than to fall for, can influence subsequent problem solving and decision making behaviors. This talk will identify the consequences of exposure to misinformation, as well as highlight important boundary conditions for when and how people might be encouraged to engage in more critical evaluation in the service of successful comprehension.

Target Audience:

Educational researchers, practitioners

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) describe the misinformation effect, specifically in terms of consequences for post-reading behaviors; (2) describe how experiments have used reading time and decision-based methodologies in attempts to evaluate reader comprehension; (3) identify potential instructional strategies and text features that can encourage more critical readings of text content.



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