Misconceptions, Plausibility, Scientific Evidence, and AI Advice

For our CCE Summer Internship, we take a Fuzzy-Trace Theory (FTT) approach to examine how teens and young adults use scientific evidence and Artificial Intelligence (AI) advice to resist misconceptions and scientifically implausible ideas. For example, the existence of alien life is not yet scientifically supported but is considered plausible by members of the public. As part of our project, we will investigate how young people understand gist-based plausibility (i.e., whether something is far-fetched or makes sense) and how they reason using scientific evidence and AI advice in a meaningful way to resist misconception.

Roles and responsibilities 

    Our intern will help us develop and run the study among adolescents participating in CCE programming, including 4-H, and Cornell Undergraduates. The intern will work closely with Dr. Reyna’s research team and meet with our CCE partners to develop a content-based pre-bunking approach to scientific reasoning using FTT. Responsibilities will include but are not limited to, meeting with the project team (including CCE partners), stimuli development and validation, survey design and delivery methodology, 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.