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Carretero, Mario, Asunciòn López-Manjón, and Liliana Jacott. “Explaining Historical Events.” International Journal of Educational Research 27(3) (1997): 245-53.


This paper deals with the extent to which subjects' causal historical explanations are influenced not only by domain specific knowledge but by specific characteristics of the historical event studied. Four historical events were presented. 120 students of different ages (15 or 17 years old) and domain specific knowledge (psychology and history) were asked to rate six causes, each of which constituted a causal explanation of an historical event. Results indicated the importance assigned to the different causes depended on the specific characteristics of the historical situation. History students were more prone to this tendency. The issue of how students tend to personalize historical events is also discussed.

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