Critical Fail: The Effects of Error Management Training on Critical Thinking
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This research project looks at the effectiveness of error management training (EMT) on critical thinking skills. EMT is a technique that explicitly encourages learners to make errors under the assumption that students learn better from their mistakes. Students were placed in one of four different training conditions and their mean scores on an argument evaluation test were compared. Students were in one of four groups depending on whether they read or wrote about logical arguments and whether they were exposed to successes or mistakes beforehand. We used argument evaluation as a narrow measurement of critical thinking and we hypothesized that students in the active error condition would learn the most. We also surveyed individual differences of conscientiousness and stress reactivity to determine what types of people were most affected by the different training procedures. Implications for critical thinking training in the college student population are investigated.