This study focused on middle school students’ source evaluation skills as a key component of digital literacy. Specifically, it examined the role of two unexplored individual factors that may affect the evaluation of sources providing information about the controversial topic of the health risks associated with the use of mobile phones. The factors were the implicit association of mobile phone with health or no health, and psychophysiological self-regulation as reflected in basal Heart Rate Variability (HRV). Seventy-two seventh graders read six webpages that provided contrasting information on the unsettled topic of the potential health risks related to the use of mobile phones. Then they were asked to rank-order the six websites along the dimension of reliability (source evaluation). Findings revealed that students were able to discriminate between the most and least reliable websites, justifying their ranking in light of different criteria. However, overall, they were little accurate in rank-ordering all six Internet sources. Both implicit associations and HRV correlated with source evaluation. The interaction between the two individual variables was a significant predictor of participants’ performance in rank-ordering the websites for reliability. A slope analysis revealed that when students had an average psychophysiological self-regulation, the stronger their association of the mobile phone with health, the better their performance on source evaluation. Theoretical and educational significances of the study are discussed.

Internet source evaluation: The role of implicit associations and psychophysiological self-regulation

Mason L
;
Scrimin S;Suitner C;Moè A.
2018

Abstract

This study focused on middle school students’ source evaluation skills as a key component of digital literacy. Specifically, it examined the role of two unexplored individual factors that may affect the evaluation of sources providing information about the controversial topic of the health risks associated with the use of mobile phones. The factors were the implicit association of mobile phone with health or no health, and psychophysiological self-regulation as reflected in basal Heart Rate Variability (HRV). Seventy-two seventh graders read six webpages that provided contrasting information on the unsettled topic of the potential health risks related to the use of mobile phones. Then they were asked to rank-order the six websites along the dimension of reliability (source evaluation). Findings revealed that students were able to discriminate between the most and least reliable websites, justifying their ranking in light of different criteria. However, overall, they were little accurate in rank-ordering all six Internet sources. Both implicit associations and HRV correlated with source evaluation. The interaction between the two individual variables was a significant predictor of participants’ performance in rank-ordering the websites for reliability. A slope analysis revealed that when students had an average psychophysiological self-regulation, the stronger their association of the mobile phone with health, the better their performance on source evaluation. Theoretical and educational significances of the study are discussed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3254360
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