Academic journal article Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

Neuroscientific Information Bias in Metacomprehension: The Effect of Brain Images on Metacomprehension Judgment of Neuroscience Research

Academic journal article Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

Neuroscientific Information Bias in Metacomprehension: The Effect of Brain Images on Metacomprehension Judgment of Neuroscience Research

Article excerpt

Published online: 1 June 2013

# Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2013

Abstract In the present study, we investigated how brain images affect metacomprehension judgments of neuroscience research. Participants made a prereading judgment of comprehension of the text topic and then read a text about neuroimaging findings. In Experiment 1, participants read text only or text accompanying brain images. In Experiment 2, participants read text accompanying bar graphs or text accompanying brain images. Then participants were asked to rate their comprehension of the text. Finally, they completed comprehension tests. The results of Experiment 1 showed that the text accompanying brain images was associated with higher metacomprehension judgments than was the text only, whereas the performance of the comprehension test did not differ between each condition. The results of Experiment 2 showed that the text accompanying brain images was associated not only with credibility of the text, but also with higher metacomprehension judgments than was the text accompanying the bar graphs, whereas the performance of the comprehension test did not differ between each condition. The findings suggest that the readers' subjective judgments differ from actual comprehension.

Keywords Metacomprehension . Brain image . Credibility . Neuroscientific information

Recently, the number of papers about neuroscience has increased (e.g., Illes, Kirshen, & Gabrieli, 2003; Morein- Zamir & Sahakin, 2010), and neuroscientific information such as that portrayed by brain images seems to capture people's interest. However, interpreting the information conveyed by brain images may be difficult for laypeople, because the images are detailed and complex representations conveying a large amount of visual information. Therefore, brain images may not enhance the lay public's understand- ing of neuroscientific information. On the other hand, it has been suggested that brain images affect judgment about scientific credibility (Keehner, Mayberry, & Fischer, 2011; McCabe & Castel, 2008).

McCabe and Castel (2008) examined the notion that brain images affect readers' perception of the credibility of scientific reasoning. In their first experiment, after reading text only (text-only condition), text with illustrative bar graphs (bar graph condition), and text illustrated with brain images (brain image condition), the participants judged the credibility of the scientific reasoning in the materials. The credibility rating was higher under the brain image condition than under the text-only and bar graph conditions, suggesting that people tend to perceive brain images as plausible depictions of scientific information. This plausi- bility effect may result from the realism and complexity of brain images (Keehner et al., 2011).

Although people are apt to perceive brain images as plausible, do people believe that they understand the infor- mation presented by brain images? Do brain images affect people's subjective judgments of their comprehension (i.e., metacomprehension judgments)? An examination of this issue is important because the monitoring of subjective states plays an important role in self-regulated learning (e.g., Anderson & Thiede, 2008; Thiede, Anderson, & Therrialut, 2003). According to the region of proximal learning framework, people stop trying to learn when they believe that they will not obtain a learning effect even if they were to spend more time trying to do so (Metcalfe, 2011). When metacomprehension judgments reflect actual compre- hension, readers are learning effectively (Dunlosky & Rawson, 2012). Therefore, if the presentation of brain im- ages were to affect metacomprehension accuracy rather than actual comprehension, people might be unable to appropri- ately learn neuroscientific material. In the present study, we focused on how brain images affect metacomprehension judgments and actual comprehension.

Previous studies on metacomprehension have suggested that the beliefs about a text format that readers hold before they begin reading affect their metacomprehension judgment. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.