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Abstract Title: The effect of research-based instruction in introductory physics on a common cognitive bias
Abstract: Inspired by a paper at last year's PERC conference (AIP Conf Proc 1413 315 (2012)), in which Rebello compared students' score estimations with their actual assessment scores, we present results of a study in which students in an introductory physics class were asked to predict their scores on two assessments, one pre- and one post-instruction. Our results show that pre-instruction the academically strongest students in the class tend to underestimate their score slightly, whereas the weakest students overestimate their performance significantly. These results are consistent with the findings of Rebello and demonstrate a well-known cognitive bias (the Dunning-Kruger effect). Post-instruction, we find that the ability of the weakest quartile cohort to accurately predict their own assessment score has improved significantly, and is no longer different to the average discrepancy in predicted score from any other quartile post-instruction. We discuss the implications these results have for instruction and for development of enhanced metacognition amongst physics students.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Ross Galloway
University of Edinburgh
School of Physics and Astronomy
James Clerk Maxwell Building
Edinburgh, UK, Non U.S. EH9 3JZ
Phone: +44 (0)131 650 8614
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Simon Bates, University of Edinburgh
Jonathan Parker, University of Edinburgh
Evguenia Usoskina, University of Edinburgh

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster