Concept Inventories: Predicting the Wrong Answer May Boost Performance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Several concept inventories have been developed to elicit students' alternative conceptions in chemistry. It is suggested that heuristic reasoning may bias students' answers in these types of assessments toward intuitively appealing choices. If this is the case, one could expect students to improve their performance by engaging in more analytical reasoning. Research has shown that analytical reasoning is activated when people experience metacognitive difficulty or conflict. This study presents the results of an intervention designed to trigger one of such experiences by asking students to make predictions about the wrong answers most commonly selected by unreflective students. Major findings show that this simple prompt has a significant positive impact on students' answers, regardless of their academic performance in the course. The effects, however, are not uniform across different topics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1805-1810
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 12 2017


  • Assessment
  • Chemical Education Research
  • First-Year Undergraduate/General
  • High School/Introductory Chemistry
  • Metacognition
  • Misconceptions/Discrepant Events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Concept Inventories: Predicting the Wrong Answer May Boost Performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this