Publication Date

Spring 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Lisa C. Duffin, Dr. Martha M. Day, Dr. Carl L. Myers

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


The present study examined if a conceptual change intervention would decrease pre-service teachers’ beliefs in four prevalent brain-based myths in education, including Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic (VAK) learning styles, Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory, left- or right-brained hemispheric dominance, and that humans only use 10% of their brains. Participants included 87 college students from one large, comprehensive university who were enrolled in an educational psychology course. All participants received the conceptual change intervention, which consisted of reading an article refuting the brain-based myths, submitting a paper showcasing evaluative thinking and reflection about the brain-based myths, and discussing cognitive development and the brain-based myths in class. All participants completed a measure of demographics and a pre-test, post-test, and delayed post-test measuring their beliefs in each of the brain-based myths. Cochran’s Q Test revealed that there was a significant difference in the change of proportion of believers and non-believers between at least two of the tests. Results of McNemar’s Test indicate that there was a significant difference in the change of proportion from believers to non-believers from the pre-test to the post-test, but not from the post-test to the delayed post-test. The relevance of these findings to current research, the implications for teacher education programs, limitations, and future directions are discussed.


Educational Psychology | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning | Teacher Education and Professional Development