ERIC Number: ED217443
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
The Measurement of Redundancy and Its Effects in Science Communication.
Micklos, David; Bishop, Walton
A study was conducted to determine if increasing the redundancy of sections in scientific articles where typical readers became bored or confused would have a desirable effect on other readers. Undergraduate journalism students applied R. F. Carter's signalled stopping technique to two different science articles by indicating points where they stopped reading because of confusion, boredom, or special interest. Both articles were then rewritten, giving attention to the feedback provided by the students' stopping behavior. W. Taylor's cloze procedure--a measure of the redundancy of language patterns--confirmed that the revised articles were more redundant than the original versions, although both were approximately the same length. Similarly qualified students then applied the same stopping procedure to the revised articles. Results indicated that changes in redundancy made in response to the feedback of the first group significantly decreased reader confusion. However, reader interest and scores on an objective comprehension/recall test were not increased significantly. These results suggested that feedback from typical readers can help science writers to communicate scientific information to selected audiences more effectively. (Copies of the original and revised essays used in the study are appended.) (JL)
Descriptors: Cloze Procedure, Cognitive Processes, Communication Research, Communication (Thought Transfer), Decoding (Reading), Feedback, Higher Education, Information Theory, Readability, Readability Formulas, Reading Comprehension, Reading Processes, Redundancy, Science Materials, Technical Writing
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Text Structure
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (65th, Athens, OH, July 25-28, 1982).