Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Beliefs and attitudes can influence reasoning

Beliefs and attitudes can influence reasoning

People’s beliefs and attitudes play a key role in the way they evaluate information, according to an academic at Victoria University of Wellington.

In multiple studies investigating how people learn, Dr Matt McCrudden, an Associate Professor in Victoria’s Faculty of Education, found that high school and tertiary students of similar age and reading ability were interpreting text they had read in very different ways.

Subsequently Dr McCrudden focused his research on text about controversial topics, such as same sex marriage and climate change, and found that differences in interpretation could largely be attributed to the reader’s preconceived beliefs.

“People’s biases often came into play when they were evaluating information that they already had an opinion on,” says Dr McCrudden.

“They were inclined to focus on information that supported their point of view, rather than objectively weighing up the facts.”

This finding has been reinforced by a recent study Dr McCrudden carried out, which examined how people evaluate information about climate change.

“For instance, people with opposing views on whether or not climate change is happening used the same piece of information—that ‘in Sydney Australia in 2013 the average temperature in October was 22 degrees, whereas in 2012 it was 21 degrees’—to support their point of view.

“It appears that many people were prepared to draw strong conclusions based on weak evidence such as temperatures over a couple of years rather than looking at climate patterns over three decades or more which is an essential aspect of the climate change debate,” says Dr McCrudden.

“A key feature of effective critical thinking is the ability to evaluate information independently from one’s beliefs. However, effective critical thinking can be a challenge if people discount or dismiss information consistent or inconsistent with their beliefs.”

Dr McCrudden says one possible way to minimise belief-motivated reasoning in an educational setting would be to give students pre-reading task instructions that encourage them to consider the merit of both sides of an issue.

“This may prompt students to actively question their beliefs, seriously consider alternative views, or update their topic knowledge. However, more research is needed to understand the conditions under which task instructions affect topic beliefs.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Culture: Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015

Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015 Images from New Zealand Defence Force Click for big version A bugler plays The Last Post Click for big version A View from the top of the Carillion Click for big version Faces old and young Click for big ... More>>

Television: MediaWorks Announces Dancing With The Stars Hosts

MediaWorks and BBC Worldwide ANZ are delighted to announce host Dominic Bowden alongside co-host Sharyn Casey for the hit series Dancing with the Stars. More>>

Art: World Premiere Of In Pursuit Of Venus [infected]

World Premiere of in Pursuit of Venus [infected] opens this Saturday at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki More>>

Fashion: The 11th ID International Emerging Designer Winner Announced

Emerging Kiwi fashion designer Steve Hall has taken out the top prize at the 11th annual iD International Emerging Designer Awards held at the Town Hall in Dunedin, New Zealand. More>>

Review: Singin’ In The Rain

Singin’ in the Rain , the wet and wonderful musical production all the way from London’s West End, officially opened at St. James Theatre in Wellington. More>>

Francis Cook: Gallipoli: The Scale Of Our War – First Look

Te Papa today allowed media access to their new exhibition Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War . The exhibition was curated with help from Weta Workshop to deliver an immersive, realistic and even disorienting experience. More>>

ALSO:

Bats Theatre: Letters From The Front Brings ANZAC Letters Alive

Inspired by centenary commemorations, improv troupe Best on Tap is producing a show based on real-life letters sent to and from New Zealand soldiers in the First World War. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news