Secondary school students' mental models and attitudes regarding artificial intelligence - A scoping review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleContributedpeer-review


With the increasing relevance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in society, AI literacy is increasingly being integrated into K-12 education. However, students already form conceptions about modern technologies (especially AI) from their interaction with their everyday environment. In this paper, we conduct a systematic scoping review on the emerging research field of secondary school students' mental models and attitudes regarding AI. Our goal is to identify research approaches and uncover research gaps. To achieve this, we reviewed literature published within the timeframe of 2012–2022 found in the ACM, IEEE, ERIC, and Science Direct databases. In total, we identified 18 relevant papers, for which we collected and evaluated research objectives, approaches, results, and areas requiring further investigation. Our findings reveal that most of the literature examined focuses with students' attitudes toward AI and moderating variables. Additionally, there is preliminary research on the types of mental models students possess about AI. Notable research gaps include the absence of development of research instruments for surveying mental models and insufficient research into the impact of learning interventions on the construction of students' mental models.


Original languageEnglish
Article number100169
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalComputers and education: artificial intelligence
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0003-3527-3204/work/145698448
ORCID /0000-0003-4725-9776/work/145698670
ORCID /0000-0002-5918-804X/work/145699234
Scopus 85173613997
Mendeley e7b8f402-1d9d-3911-ada6-dab086801f79


Subject groups, research areas, subject areas according to Destatis


  • Artificial intelligence, Attitudes, Conceptions, K-12 education, Mental models, Scoping review