Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Matthew Normand

First Committee Member

Carolynn S. Kohn

Second Committee Member

Thomas Critchfield


Educators and practicing professionals in many fields emphasize the importance of critical thinking for effective decision-making. However, critical thinking skills are not usually directly taught in traditional educational settings. A subset of these skills, identifying logical fallacies, could be amenable to direct instruction using procedures that establish conditional discriminations, such as equivalence-based instruction (EBI). EBI procedures have been shown to be effective and efficient when teaching a variety of skills, including the identification of logical fallacies, when compared with no-instruction and self-instruction control groups. The purpose of this study is to compare the effectiveness of web-based EBI procedures to a more traditional lecture-based instruction format, with and without requiring participants to actively respond to the material, for teaching undergraduate students to identify logical fallacies. Participants were assigned to one of three groups: equivalence-based instruction, lecture-based instruction or lecture-based instruction with active responding. Using a pretest-train-posttest design, performance on multiple-choice tests that target relations among logical fallacy names, descriptions, and examples were compared. The results of this study suggest that EBI is an effective instruction method for teaching college students to identify logical fallacies. When compared to both lecture-based instruction teaching methods, EBI resulted in consistently higher posttest scores following instruction and more consistent acquisition of the nonprogrammed relations (i.e., BA, CA, CB, BC).



Included in

Psychology Commons



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