Introduction. Although studies of peoples' knowledge and beliefs about Human Papillomavirus have provided good information to the medical community, few, if any, have addressed how young people construct an understanding of the virus in realistic contexts. This is problematic because increasingly people are turning to the internet for health information before talking with doctors. To address this gap in the literature, we asked participants to conduct an unguided internet search for information about human papillomavirus. Method. We designed a longitudinal study based on the Conceptual Restructuring of Knowledge Model (CRKM), a cognitive model for conceptual change. Using multiple statistical techniques, we found evidence for key characteristics of the CRKM, including the role of dissatisfaction and engagement during conceptual change. Results. Using multiple statistical techniques, we found evidence for key characteristics of the CRKM, including the role of dissatisfaction and engagement during conceptual change. Additionally, although average performance on the knowledge assessment increased by 32%, we found that important misconceptions regarding HPV were persistent after the search. Discussion and Conclusion. Misconceptions appear to stem from participants failing to alter their knowledge structures regarding the mechanisms of transmission, the diversity of HPV genotypes, and the relationship between virus genotypes and the effect a virus has on its host.
|Number of pages
|Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology
|Published - 2013
- Conceptual change
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology