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The Role of Critical Thinking and Executive Function in Misconceptions in Psychology

*Heru Astikasari Setya Murti  -  Fakultas Psikologi, Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana, Indonesia
Thomas Dicky Hastjarjo  -  Fakultas Psikologi, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia
Bhina Patria  -  Fakultas Psikologi, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia
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Abstract

Misconception in psychology is a belief that is broadly contradicting to scientific evidence and is particularly
common in the field of psychology. It is important to study misconceptions in psychology considering the
contribution of the effort to provide education or to demonstrate rejection of fallacies of popular ideas/themes.
Misconceptions in psychology relates to critical thinking as well as the executive function (EF) that controls and
regulates cognitive processes. This research aims to determine the role of critical thinking and EF (cognitive
flexibility, working memory, and inhibitory control) with misconceptions in psychology. This study used non-
experimental methods, using test (paper and pencil) and PEBL/ Psychology Experiment Building Language
(computerized). The sampling technique used was convenience sampling. The subjects in this study were 153
psychology students, consisting of 105 students from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) and 48 students from
Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta (UNY). Instruments that were used for data collection were the misconception in
psychology test, critical thinking test, Wisconsin/Berg Card Sorting Test (WCST/BCST), Backward Digit Span,
and Stroop Test. There is no correlation between cognitive flexibility and misconceptions in psychology, so
cognitive flexibility is not included in the calculation of hierarchical regression analysis. Based on the results of
hierarchical regression analysis, it can be concluded that the role of inhibitory control on psychological
misconceptions is 11.4%, ΔR2 = .114; b* = .33; t(149) = 4.52, p < .001; the role of working memory is 3%, ΔR2 =.030; b* = -.16; t(149) = -2.19, p = .03; and the role of critical thinking is 2.6%, ΔR2 = .026; b* = -.19; t(149) = -2.53, p = .01.

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Keywords: misconception in psychology; critical thinking; executive function; working memory; inhibitory control

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