The Real Test : Can College Students Reason About Evidence?
Bleske-Rechek, April L.
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Scientific literacy is considered essential in modern society (Anelli, 2011), where reasoning skills and knowledge of the scientific process can help citizens evaluate claims about food, relationships, health, climate change, etc. But do people use scientific thinking to evaluate the claims they hear and read? Levels of scientific literacy in the U.S. are low overall (Miller, 2007), and multiple studies now suggest that undergoing a college education may not solve the problem. About one-third of college students show no growth (or even a decline) in critical thinking and scientific reasoning while in college (Arum & Roksa, 2011; Blaich & Wise, 2011; Bleske-Rechek & Donovan, 2015;). Such findings imply that even college educated individuals may be ill-prepared to evaluate the various claims they are exposed to on a daily basis. Thus, we exposed students to several claims and assessed how convinced they were by varied levels of evidence for the claims.
Color poster with text, tables, charts, and graphs.