Examining My-Side Bias During and After Reading Controversial Historical Accounts

Iordanou, Kalypso orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5930-9393, Kendeou, Panayiota and Zembylas, Michalinos (2020) Examining My-Side Bias During and After Reading Controversial Historical Accounts. Metacognition and Learning, 15 . pp. 319-342. ISSN 1556-1623

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11409-020-09240-w


The present study examines individuals’ thinking during and after reading controversial historical accounts and the possible contribution of epistemic beliefs, emotions, and priorknowledge in this context. Young adults (n = 39) were asked to read two accounts about a recent war in their country, an own-side account – from a historian of their ethnic group – and an other-side account ‒ from a historian from the adversary ethnic group. Participants were asked to think-aloud and report their emotions during reading. After reading, participants were asked to write a summary. Results showed that participants exhibited my-side bias during reading and writing, while there were also interesting individual differences in epistemic beliefs and prior knowledge. Participants with evaluativist epistemic beliefs were less likely to show my-side bias in the writing task. Epistemic beliefs, along with prior knowledge and the emotion of anger, predicted also low-epistemic processing during reading of other-side text. The paper concludes with a discussion of the educational implications in promoting critical thinking about controversial issues in history.

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