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Document Type

Article

Abstract

Studies show that misconceptions about psychology are pervasive. This study examined how the strength of prior beliefs and the sources of misinformation relate to conceptual change following an introductory psychology course. Ninety introductory psychology students completed a 36-item "Psychological Information" questionnaire. Testing during the 1 st day of the semester showed 38.5% accuracy whereas testing during the last week showed 66.3% accuracy. These results suggest that misconceptions remain prevalent but can be reduced by taking an introductory psychology course. Our data also indicate that strength of belief is an important transitional variable that may reflect the process of change. Finally, although personal experience and media are important sources of misinformation, we found that they do not promote strongly held beliefs.

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