It's More than a Feeling: Using Gist to Improve Science Literacy and Resist Misinformation

Our lab conducts research to understand how people make decisions and promote healthy choices in teens and adults. For our CCE Summer Internship, we want to improve science literacy and reduce misinformation among adolescents about biohealth-oriented information (e.g., viruses, bacteria). It is an outgrowth of Dr. Reyna’s work on COVID-19 and misinformation. Our intern will help us assess, develop, and deliver a curriculum based on Dr. Reyna's Fuzzy Trace Theory to adolescents participating in CCE programming, including 4-H.

Roles and responsibilities 

The intern will work closely with Dr. Reyna’s research team and meet with our CCE partners to develop a STEM curriculum based on a Fuzzy-Trace Theory approach and to assess an understanding of science literacy, and misconception, including knowledge of viruses and bacteria, and to resist misinformation. Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to, survey design and delivery methodology, curriculum development, teaching the intervention, and data entry and data analysis.

Qualifications and previous coursework

This opportunity is available to students in Cornell University's College of Human Ecology.

The preferred candidate will demonstrate a high level of enthusiasm for Dr. Reyna’s research in risk communication and risky decision making, as well as for applying this research in outreach and educational settings, including working with youth. The candidate will also have completed general coursework in at least one of the following: Human Development; Psychology; Human Biology, Health and Society; Neurobiology; or related fields. The candidate should be in excellent academic standing.

Learning outcomes 

The intern will have the opportunity to gain skills in program development, translation and application of research to real-world problems, working with others, and translating research into outreach and educational materials, and youth development programming. They will also have the opportunity to gain knowledge of psychology and related behavioral sciences, public health, and issues in education.