“Negative” Questions

Question: I’ve been told not to use negative questions (All of the following are true EXCEPT) because you are reinforcing what the answer is not as opposed to what the answer is.

Answer: I’ve heard that too but I disagree. Unless someone can provide me with a study that shows how identifying a wrong answer causes a student to ‘learn’ the wrong answer I just don’t believe it. To me it’s one of those claims that sounds plausible but has no empirical validity. Shy of actual evidence to the contrary I just don’t believe that picking out the one choice that doesn’t belong ‘teaches’ the wrong answer. So, my opinion is: You can use negative questions, but don’t overuse them.

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