Skip to main content
Log in

Helping students reflect: lessons from cognitive psychology

Advances in Health Sciences Education Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Cite this article

Abstract

The challenges of teaching students to reflect on experience and, thus, learn from it, are better understood with the application of constructs from cognitive psychology. The present paper focuses on two such constructs–self-schemas and scripts–to help educators better understand both the threats and opportunities associated with effective reflection. Emotion is presented as an important accompaniment to reflection. Suggestions are presented, using the notions of self-schemas and scripts, to help students manage the emotion associated with reflection and to enhance the value of that reflection.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Abelson, R. P. (1963). Computer simulation of “hot cognitions”. In S. Tomkins & S. Mesick (Eds.), Computer simulation of personality. New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Abelson, R. P. (1976). Script processing in attitude formation and decision making. In J. S. Carroll & J. W. Payne (Eds.), Cognition and social behavior. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Aronson, L. (2011). Twelve tips for teaching reflection at all levels of medical education. Medical Teacher, 33(3), 200–205.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Aronson, L., Niehaus, B., Lindow, J., Robertson, P. A., & O’Sullivan, P. S. (2011). Developing and pilot testing a reflective learning guide for medical education. Medial Teacher, 33(1), e515–e521.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Atkins, S., & Murphy, K. (1993). Reflection: A review of the literature. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 18, 1188–1192.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bordage, G., & Zacks, R. (1984). The structure of medical knowledge in the memories of medical students and general practitioners: Categories and prototypes. Medical Education, 18, 406–416.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Charlin, B., Boshuizen, H. P. A., Custers, E. J., & Feltovich, P. J. (2007). Scripts and clinical reasoning. Medical Education, 41(12), 1178–1184.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cranton, P. (1996). Professional development as transformative learning: New perspectives for teachers of adults. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cranton, P., & Carussetta, E. (2004). Developing authenticity as a transformative process. Journal of Transformative Education, 2, 276.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Croskerry, P. (2009). Clinical cognition and diagnostic error: Applications of a dual process model of reasoning. Advances in Health Science Education, 14, 27–35.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • DeNisi, A., & Kluger, A. N. (2000). Feedback effectiveness: Can 360-degree appraisals be improved? Academy of Management Executives, 14(1), 129–139.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dewey, J. (1993). How we think. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Feltovich, P. J., & Barrows, H. S. (1984). Issues of generality in medical problem solving. In H. G. Schmidt & M. L. De Volder (Eds.), Tutorials in problem-based learning: A new direction in teaching the health professions (pp. 128–142). Assen: Van Gorcum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Henderson, C., & Dancy, M. H. (2008). Physics faculty and educational researchers: Divergent expectations as barriers to the diffusion of innovations. American Journal of Physics, 76(1), 79–91.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking fast and slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kember, D., Jones, A., Loke, A., McKay, J., Sinclair, K., Tse, H., et al. (1999). Determining the level of reflective thinking from students’ written journals using a coding scheme based on the work of Mezirow. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 18(1), 18–30.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ledoux, T., Winterowd, C., Richardson, T., & Dorton Clark, J. (2010). Relationship of negative self-schemas and attachment styles with appearance schemas. Body Image, 7(3), 213–217.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lerner, M. (1980). The belief in a just world: A fundamental decision. New York: Plenum.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Loughran, J. J. (1996). Developing reflective practitioners: Learning about teaching and learning through modelling. London: Falmer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mamede, S., & Schmidt, H. G. (2004). The structure of reflective practice in medicine. Medical Education, 38, 1302–1308.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mann, K., Gordon, J., & MacLeod, A. (2009). Reflection and reflective practice in health professions education: A systematic review. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 14, 595–621.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mezirow, J. (1990). Fostering critical reflection in adulthood. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  • Norman, G., Young, M., & Brooks, L. (2007). Non-analytical models of clinical reasoning: The role of experience. Medical Education, 41(12), 1140–1145.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pee, B., Woodman, T., Fry, H., & Davenport, E. S. (2002). Appraising and assessing reflection in students’ writing on a structured worksheet. Medical Education, 36, 575–585.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Perry, R. P. (2003). Perceived (academic) control and causal thinking in achievement settings. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 44(4), 312–331.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Plank, M. M., Driscoll, M., Marquez, M., Cuppernull, L., Maring, J., & Greenberg, L. (2007). Assessing reflective writing on a pediatric clerkship by using a modified bloom’s taxonomy. Ambulatory Pediatrics, 7(4), 285–291.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rogers, R. R. (2001). Reflection in higher education: A concept analysis. Innovative Higher Education, 26(1), 37–57.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sargeant, J., Mann, K., Sinclair, D., van der Vleuten, C., & Metsemakers, J. (2008). Understanding the influence of emotions and reflection upon multi-source feedback acceptance and use. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 13, 275–288.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schön, D. A. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Young, J. (Ed.). (1994). Cognitive therapy for personality disorders: A schema-focused approach (2nd ed.). Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zajonc, R. (1980). Feeling and thinking: Preferences need no inferences. American Psychologist, 35, 151–175.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zink, T., Halass, G. W., Finstad, D., & Brooks, K. D. (2008). The rural physician associate program: The value of immersion learning for third-year medical students. Journal of Rural Health, 24(4), 353–359.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gary Poole.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Poole, G., Jones, L. & Whitfield, M. Helping students reflect: lessons from cognitive psychology. Adv in Health Sci Educ 18, 817–824 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10459-012-9373-0

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10459-012-9373-0

Keywords

Navigation