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Open AccessArticle

An Analysis of Students’ Cognitive Bias in Experimental Activities Following a Lab Manual

Institute of Nature Science Education, Korea National University of Education, Chungbuk 28173, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 80;
Received: 6 February 2020 / Revised: 18 March 2020 / Accepted: 19 March 2020 / Published: 20 March 2020
The purpose of this study is to develop a thinking process model that reveals cognitive bias through analyzing students’ cognitive biases in processing experimental manuals. Twenty-two college students participated in the study. During the “making electromagnets” experimental activity, we collected students’ concurrent verbal protocols, gaze positions, and experimental behaviors. After the experiment, we collected their retrospective verbal protocols and ensured reliability by diversifying the data. The collected data were analyzed inductively using the grounded theory methodology. The results showed that four categories of paradigm (causal conditions, phenomena, interactions, and contextual conditions) and fifteen concepts were derived. Students displayed bias in following the manual instructions due to the influence of causal conditions. When embodying biased representations as workspace entities, biased responses come from the influence of contextual conditions. Therefore, these can be developed in consideration of causal and contextual conditions when developing a manual, thereby reducing cognitive bias among students, and ultimately helping them perform accurate experiments. View Full-Text
Keywords: cognitive bias; experimental activities; lab manual cognitive bias; experimental activities; lab manual
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Kim, S.U.; Yang, I.H. An Analysis of Students’ Cognitive Bias in Experimental Activities Following a Lab Manual. Educ. Sci. 2020, 10, 80.

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