Type of Document Dissertation Author Hilliard, Amy E URN etd-09212003-210344 Title The Interaction Between The Reader And The Reading Situation: The Roles Of Text Cues, Reading Tasks, And Individual Differences In Reading Ability Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Psychology, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Rick Wagner Committee Chair Colleen Kelley Committee Member Joe Torgesson Committee Member Robert Contreras Committee Member Vivian Fueyo Committee Member Keywords
- Interactive Readers
- Passive/Active Readers
- Text Cues
Date of Defense 2003-08-02 Availability unrestricted AbstractText cues indicate to the reader where and how to direct his or her reading-related processing. Findings in the text cue literature are mixed. The reading task and individual differences in reading ability might account for these results. A dichotomous view of the readerís ability to actively process text has been prevalent for many years. Some researchers see the reader as passive and some see the reader as active. A new view has
emerged in the last few years: the view of the reader as interactive. Proponents of this view think that all aspects of the reader, such as individual differences, and the reading
situation, including the reading task, influence text processing. The present experiment
examined these three views using the methodology of the text cue literature, as well as an
on-line measure of text processing. If readers are interactive, then they should process
target information according to the presence of cues, the type of information contained within the target sentence, and aspects of the reading task, such as comprehension question type.
College students read experimental texts and answered comprehension questions after each text. Embedded within the texts were summary target sentences and importance target sentences from which reading time data was collected. These
sentences contained information that was conceptually important to the texts. There were
two versions of each text. In one version of a text half the target sentences were preceded by a text cue sentence and half were not. In the other version of the same text, the text cue sentences were placed before the target sentences that had not been preceded by text cue sentences in the other version. Only one type of text cue sentence ever preceded a target sentence. Importance text cue sentences preceded importance target sentences, and summary text cue sentences preceded summary target sentences. What made a sentence important or a summary was the type of information contained with in the sentence.
After reading each text the participantsí task was to answer either summary comprehension questions or importance comprehension questions. The type of comprehension question participants answered was the aspect of reading task
manipulated. Participants answered only one type of question throughout the experiment.
How the quantity of a participantís reading situation knowledge influenced their cognitive processing was assessed by comparing the reading times and comprehension question from the first text participants read to the second text they read. During the first text participants had no idea what type of comprehension question they were to answer, so they only had previous experience with comprehension questions to guide their processing decisions. During the second text, participants had knowledge of the type of
question that they were most likely going to be asked. This variable was titled text presentation order.
Finally, an aspect of the reader was measured. Participants were grouped by Individual differences in reading comprehension. The participants were divided into two reading level groups, good and poor readers, by use of the VSAT test. The results of this study support the view of the reader as interactive. For the first
text, the type of target sentence and the presence or absence of text cue sentences did not
make a significant difference. However, after having answered comprehension questions for the first task, participants knew what to expect of from their reading task and could use this information to guide their cognitive processing while reading the second text.
Results from the second text show that there were processing differences between participants in the importance question condition and participants in the summary question condition. Surprisingly, there was no effect of individual differences in reading ability, and only one variable was significant for the comprehension question data. These findings could be due to the measure of individual differences in reading ability chosen for this experiment. Question type was the only variable that influence the number of
correct comprehension questions. No differences in the total number of correct answers to comprehension questions fits with some text cue research that has found no general differences in the remembrance of text cued and non text cued information. These results indicate a complex interaction between the reader, the reading situation, and the reading
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