The members of the RCC lab work very hard on their research and data collection so that they can someday share their findings in an academic journal. This February, our PI Dr. Jennifer Stiegler-Balfour was able to do just that! Dr. Stiegler-Balfour and her fellow researchers Drs. Krisztina Jakobsen and David Daniel from James Madison University and Dr. Michael Stroud from Merrimack College published their article APA-Style Citations Can Create a Roadblock to Textbook Comprehension for Less Skilled Readers in Teaching of Psychology, sharing how readers of different skill levels comprehend texts with APA-style in-text citations. Their findings show that less-skilled readers read faster and did not perform as well on a recognition quiz when reading expository texts with APA-style citations compared to texts without APA-style citations. They also found that higher-skilled readers slowed their reading paces when reading texts with the citations. Together, their findings bring into question the practicality of using APA-style in-text citations in textbooks.
Dr. Stiegler-Balfour and her fellow researchers aren’t the only ones who are challenging these in-text citations in textbooks. Dr. David Myers, professor at Hope College and author of several introductory psychology textbooks, reached out to say kudos to the recently published authors. Dr. Myers has opted to use a smaller font for the in-text citations in his lower-level textbooks, joining in the collective effort to make expository texts more readable for readers of all skill levels. Even so, there is still a call for research looking at citation style – and the RCC lab will continue to make their contributions to this body of research!
Click here to view the publication