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Components of engagement in saying-is-believing exercises


The saying-is-believing effect is an important step for changing students' attitudes and beliefs in a wise intervention. However, most studies have not closely examined the process of the saying-is-believing effect when individuals are engaged in the activity. Using a qualitative approach, the present study uses an engagement framework to investigate (a) components of engagement in the saying-is-believing effect; and (b) how differently students may engage in a saying-is-believing exercise. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 undergraduates in a scholarship program for low-income transfer students from community college. Analysis using inductive and deductive approaches found that students varied on the extent to which they experienced the effectiveness of the saying-is-believing effect through affective, cognitive, and behavioral experiences. The study offers examples of how people can indeed differ in the extent to which they experience the saying-is-believing effect, and the implications for designing more effective interventions. Specifically, students' positive affective experiences from seeing the larger goal of creating videos may be important components for the saying-is-believing effect to work. Behavioral experiences, such as learning soft skills, academic skills learned indirectly from the intervention, and academic skills learned directly from the intervention were accompanied by both positive affective and cognitive experiences. Findings show the importance of students' differential engagement in saying-is-believing exercises both for building more effective wise interventions and interpreting heterogeneity in intervention effectiveness.

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