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Citizen SciencePublic Participation in Environmental Research$
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Janis L. Dickinson and Rick Bonney

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449116

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449116.001.0001

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Cognitive Considerations in the Development of Citizen Science Projects

Cognitive Considerations in the Development of Citizen Science Projects

(p.167) 11 Cognitive Considerations in the Development of Citizen Science Projects
Citizen Science

Rebecca C. Jordan

Joan G. Ehrenfeld

Steven A. Gray

Wesley R. Brooks

David V. Howe

Cindy E. Hmelo-Silver

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses cognitive considerations that need to be taken into account in the development of citizen science projects. It first looks at a research project with combined research and educational goals, called Spotting the Weedy Invasives, using it to highlight the potential benefits of using a learning sciences approach in the development of citizen science training and educational programs. It then examines issues related to both data quality and learning gains, including cognitive processes and the potential for cognitive bias. It emphasizes the importance of aligning research goals with attributes of participants and how cognitive biases may affect the quality of citizen science data. The chapter concludes with an assessment of what the project design and results it describes might mean for the design of larger, Internet-based, geographically dispersed citizen science initiatives.

Keywords:   citizen science projects, Spotting the Weedy Invasives, citizen science, data quality, cognitive bias, learning, citizen science data

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