ERIC Number: ED249467
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
A Word on Final Words.
Two experiments examined the cognitive resources used by readers in sentence modeling (summarizing the propositions in a sentence) as a function of reader task and of sentence complexity. It was predicted that encoding a sentence into memory for later recall would require more cognitive resources than reading a text to answer immediate questions, and that the modeling process would be more resource consuming, the greater the number of propositions. Undergraduate students acted as subjects for the experiments and word reading time was the dependent variable. In the first experiment, which involved both recall and question answering, 93 subjects read 15 passages, and in the second experiment, 58 subjects read 13 different passages. In both conditions, readers spent a longer time reading the final word than the remaining words in each sentence. Such sentence "wrap-up" was stronger in the recall than in the question answering condition. In both conditions, the final word processing increased with the amount of information in the sentence, and was diminished in sentences that contained a major clause. Similarly, the final word processing decreased with the serial position of the sentence in a passage. The results indicated that the readers used the end of a sentence, and to a lesser extent the end of a major clause, as an occasion to abstract the essential ideas of the sentence and to integrate them with the growing representation of the text. (HTH)
Descriptors: Cognitive Measurement, Cognitive Processes, Encoding (Psychology), Higher Education, Language Processing, Learning Strategies, Modeling (Psychology), Reading Processes, Reading Rate, Reading Research, Reading Strategies, Recall (Psychology), Sentence Structure, Sentences, Word Recognition
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Prose Learning
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society (San Diego, CA, 1983).