Jonathan Mueller, North Central College professor of psychology, coauthored an article, titled “Undergraduates’ ability to recognize correlational and causal language before and after explicit instruction,” that was published in the October 2013 journal Teaching of Psychology. The journal offers research-tested strategies to enhance student learning. His coauthor is Heather Coon, former North Central College professor of psychology.
Their article investigated the scientific thinking of first-year students in an introductory psychology class. Specifically, the research explored how well students understood the distinction between causal and correlational claims, particularly in science news headlines, and how such understanding could be developed throughout the course. Through a series of formative and summative assessments, students significantly improved their grasp of the scientific concepts and their ability to recognize correlational and causal language in everyday news stories.
Mueller joined North Central’s faculty in 1983. He earned a B.A. and M.A.T. (master of arts in teaching) from Beloit College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University.