Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hollywood Gets Mixed Reviews In History Class, Study Suggests

Date:
August 5, 2009
Source:
Washington University in St. Louis
Summary:
Students who learn history by watching historically based blockbuster movies may be doomed to repeat the historical mistakes portrayed within them, suggests a new study. The study, forthcoming in the journal Psychological Science, suggests that showing popular history movies in a classroom setting can be a double-edged sword when it comes to helping students learn and retain factual information in associated textbooks.

Students who learn history by watching historically based blockbuster movies may be doomed to repeat the historical mistakes portrayed within them, suggests a new study from Washington University in St. Louis.

Related Articles


The study, forthcoming in the journal Psychological Science, suggests that showing popular history movies in a classroom setting can be a double-edged sword when it comes to helping students learn and retain factual information in associated textbooks.

"We found that when information in the film was consistent with information in the text, watching the film clips increased correct recall by about 50 percent relative to reading the text alone," explains Andrew Butler, a psychology doctoral student in Arts & Sciences.

"In contrast, when information in the film directly contradicted the text, people often falsely recalled the misinformation portrayed in the film, sometimes as much as 50 percent of the time."

Butler, whose research focuses on how cognitive psychology can be applied to enhance educational practice, notes that teachers can guard against the adverse impact of movies that play fast and loose with historical fact, although a general admonition may not be sufficient.

"The misleading effect occurred even when people were reminded of the potentially inaccurate nature of popular films right before viewing the film," Butler says. "However, the effect was completely negated when a specific warning about the particular inaccuracy was provided before the film."

Butler conducted the study with colleagues in the Department of Psychology's Memory Lab. Co-authors include fellow doctoral student Franklin M. Zaromb, postdoctoral researcher Keith B. Lyle and Henry L. "Roddy" Roediger III, the Lab's principal investigator and the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Psychology.

"These results have implications for the common educational practice of using popular films as an instructional aid," Butler concludes.

"Although films may increase learning and interest in the classroom, educators should be aware that students might learn inaccurate information, too, even if the correct information has been presented in a text. More broadly, these same positive and negative effects apply to the consumption of popular history films by the general public."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University in St. Louis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Washington University in St. Louis. "Hollywood Gets Mixed Reviews In History Class, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090805171112.htm>.
Washington University in St. Louis. (2009, August 5). Hollywood Gets Mixed Reviews In History Class, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090805171112.htm
Washington University in St. Louis. "Hollywood Gets Mixed Reviews In History Class, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090805171112.htm (accessed December 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, December 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Weirdest Health Studies Of 2014

The Weirdest Health Studies Of 2014

Newsy (Dec. 27, 2014) One of this year's strangest studies found people prefer painful electric shocks to being alone with their thoughts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
When Healthy Eating Becomes Dangerous

When Healthy Eating Becomes Dangerous

Newsy (Dec. 26, 2014) Experts say fad diets can lead to orthorexia, a disorder that can cause physical and emotional distress. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Paper Books Better Than E-Books For Sleep Cycle?

Are Paper Books Better Than E-Books For Sleep Cycle?

Newsy (Dec. 23, 2014) A study from Harvard Medical School shows that electronic readers utilizing LED technology interrupt people's natural sleep cycles. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins