Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jennifer Groscup

Reader 2

Piya Chatterjee

Reader 3

Tricia Morgan

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Rights Information

2023 Katia A. Martha


The purpose of the proposed study is to trial a short Socratic Questioning (SQ) intervention in the writing process, facilitated by either a human or ChatGPT tutor, and explore the effects that this may have on students’ critical thinking (CT), which will be coded from their written responses. Participants will be undergraduate college first years in the local California area who are fluent in English and have no learning disabilities. This study involves two visits, spaced a week apart, to gather pre- and post- test data for evaluating the effectiveness of the SQ intervention in improving CT. Both visits will follow a similar format of participants taking a written exam followed by a survey, which, in visit 1, will ask about ChatGPT account set-up and participant demographics, and in visit 2, will ask about intrinsic motivation. Researchers expect that post-test CT scores will be higher in conditions with the SQ intervention as opposed to the control, and specifically higher for the SQ intervention with the human tutor versus the ChatGPT tutor. This relationship is expected to be moderated by baseline level of CT, with lower levels of baseline CT predicting greater impacts from the SQ intervention, and mediated by intrinsic motivation, where intrinsic motivation is expected to be higher for participants with the human versus ChatGPT tutor. This study will address many gaps in the literature, including how to develop and assess CT in writing, specific methods of using ChatGPT to improve student learning, comparing humans versus ChatGPT as tutors, and looking at SQ as an intervention in the writing process.