Can additional use of video testimonials in secondary education augment the refutation effect?

  • Marcel 't Lam

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Educating students, convincing other people or sharing a message are important interactions in many areas in our society. Especially in case of misconceptions that need to be refuted it is important to find ways to do this effectively. Refutation texts, especially texts with negative emotional content, have been proven powerful in realising conceptual change. Though quite topical, research on ways to enhance the refutation effect so far mainly focussed on text related enhancements among college undergraduates. This research had K-12 students as participants (N = 75) and integrated another factor that potentially could enhance the refutation effect, namely an additional video message with negative emotional content delivered by either a peer or an expert. Learning results were measured using a pre-test, post-test and delayed post-test, after which knowledge scores were compared. Results indicated that the refutation effect can be enhanced by showing a preceding additional video message delivered by a topic expert as compared to a video message by a peer. The effect we found was only applicable to students taking the immediate post-test, which was probably due to single treatment and lack of revision. Results are promising as they show that the already proven power of refutation texts can be augmented thus making them into even stronger tools that can be used to bring about conceptual change.
Date of Award4 Jul 2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorLeen Catrysse (Supervisor)


  • refutation effect
  • augmentation
  • video messages
  • expertise
  • emotions

Cite this