The deep-level-reasoning-question effect: The role of dialogue and deep-level-reasoning questions during vicarious learning

Scotty D. Craig, Jeremiah Sullins, Amy Witherspoon, Barry Gholson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Scopus citations


We investigated the impact of dialogue and deep-level-reasoning questions on vicarious learning in 2 studies with undergraduates. In Experiment 1, participants learned material by interacting with AutoTutor or by viewing 1 of 4 vicarious learning conditions : a noninteractive recorded version of the AutoTutor dialogues, a dialogue with a deep-level-reasoning question preceding each sentence, a dialogue with a deep-level-reasoning question preceding half of the sentences, or a monologue. Learners in the condition where a deep-level-reasoning question preceded each sentence significantly outperformed those in the other 4 conditions. Experiment 2 included the same interactive and noninteractive recorded condition, along with 2 vicarious learning conditions involving deep-level-reasoning questions. Both deep-level-reasoning-question conditions significantly outperformed the other conditions. These findings provide evidence that deep-level-reasoning questions improve vicarious learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-591
Number of pages27
JournalCognition and Instruction
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 13 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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