The effects of different types of text and individual differences on view complexity about genetically modified organisms
View change about socio-scientific issues has been well studied in the literature, but the change in the complexity of those views has not. In the current study, the change in the complexity of views about a specific scientific topic (i.e. genetically modified organisms; GMOs) and use of evidence in explaining those views was examined in relation to individual factors and type of text (informational, persuasive, or narrative). Undergraduate students completed measures of their prior views about GMOs their epistemic beliefs about the nature of science, and activities related to food consumption. Participants then read either an informational, persuasive, or narrative passage about GMOs and again answered a question related to their views about GMOs. Participants who read the persuasive passage decreased in the complexity of their views, while those who read the narrative and expository passage increased in the complexity of their views. Additionally, while cultural activities related to the complexity of individuals’ views during the pretest, these significant differences were not evident at posttest after the text intervention. These findings can be used to help scientists and teachers better understand how to communicate information critical to understanding complex science and environmental issues to the public and their students.
International Journal of Science Education
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Dinsmore, Zoellner, B. P., Parkinson, M. M., Rossi, A. M., Monk, M. J., & Vinnachi, J. (2017). The effects of different types of text and individual differences on view complexity about genetically modified organisms. International Journal of Science Education, 39(7), 791–813. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2017.1298871