The effectiveness of propositional manipulation as a lecturing method in the statistics knowledge domain

J. Leppink*, N.J. Broers, T. Imbos, C.P.M. van der Vleuten, M.P.F. Berger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The current experiment examined the potential effects of the method of propositional manipulation (MPM) as a lecturing method on motivation to learn and conceptual understanding of statistics. MPM aims to help students develop conceptual understanding by guiding them into self-explanation at two different stages: First, at the stage of propositions (statements referring to single statistical concepts and ideas), and subsequently, at the stage of more complex problems that comprise a set of relevant propositions. A total of 71 bachelor students in psychology who were preparing for the re-sit of their inferential statistics exam participated in one of two possible lectures. Topic, content, lecturer, and duration of both lectures were the same, and in both lectures five true/false hypotheses were presented. Students in the first lecture (control group) discussed interactively the truth or falsity of each hypothesis. In the second lecture (MPM group), this interactive discussion was structured by presenting a number of short open-ended questions along with each hypothesis. Conceptual understanding was measured by means of a twelve items multiple choice test. Further, the intrinsic motivation inventory was administered to examine motivation to learn. The results indicate that MPM does not lead to enhanced motivation to learn but can facilitate conceptual understanding development among students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1127-1140
Number of pages14
JournalInstructional Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Propositional manipulation
  • Guided self-explanation
  • Motivation to learn statistics
  • Conceptual understanding of statistics

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