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ERI-Talk - Philipp Marten: "Qapito in practice: How effective are training materials for strengthening resilience to misinformation in the school context?"

  • November 8th, 2023
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November 17th 2023. 12:00h. Onsite session. Language: English.

Qapito in practice: How effective are training materials for strengthening resilience to misinformation in the school context?

Philipp Marten

Ruhr University Bochum, Germany


When learning online, a wide variety of content is easily accessible. Yet, Internet users must evaluate the veracity of what they read, a task that adolescents often neglect. Therefore, the aim of this PhD project is to promote cognitive strategies for assessing online information to adolescents. For this purpose, an initial study tested the effectiveness of a newly developed strategy training aiming at the promotion of two evaluation strategies, sourcing and corroboration, using authentic Internet materials. The training was compared to a control group that received a declarative knowledge training on the topic of misinformation of about the same length. Data were collected from 199 7th and 8th graders who participated with their classes in an out-of-school science lab day at three points of measurement (before, immediately after, and three-four weeks after the training). Analyses controlled for individual difference variables reading proficiency, self-reported prior knowledge, topic interest, and socioeconomic background. As expected, the strategy training group outperformed controls in terms of discriminating between sources of higher and lower trustworthiness, debunking false statements, and knowledge of evaluation strategies in the short and medium term. In a follow-up study now starting, these materials will be used as a series of lessons over several weeks by teachers in schools. The strategy training is again compared to a control group receiving declarative knowledge instructions. Data is collected at three points of measurement to determine if the first study’s results can be replicated in the field. Additional future research, however, should examine ways of increasing the magnitude of effect sizes, which were only small to moderate in the first study. This could even enhance the potential of this training approach in terms of equipping adolescents with the skills necessary in the information age.



Philipp Marten is currently a PhD researcher at the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, under supervision of Prof. Dr. Marc Stadtler. His work focuses mainly on mechanisms of dis- and misinformation as well as ways to promote resilience towards false and misleading online information. Within the framework of the SeReLiDiS project, he is in the ERI Lectura Lab for a three-week research stay. Before coming to Ruhr Uni, Mr. Marten headed the parliamentary office of the Berlin Senator of the Interior and worked in consultancies and think tanks. He holds two Master's degrees from the University of Edinburgh and Jacobs University Bremen as well as a Bachelor's degree from the University of Osnabrück.


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