ERIC Number: ED198479
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar-31
Reference Count: 0
Comprehension Processes in Reading. Final Report.
Carpenter, Patricia A.
Two research studies were conducted to examine short term memory capacity and eye fixations as parts of the reading comprehension process. In the first study, varied aspects of the text and the readers' tasks were examined by monitoring the duration and sequence of readers' eye fixations. The results showed that readers made longer pauses at points of increased processing, such as encoding infrequent words, parsing and representing information in clauses, integrating information from more important clauses, and making inferences. One major outcome of this research was a relatively detailed process model for predicting the gaze duration of college students reading clauses of scientific texts. In the second study, it was hypothesized that individual differences in reading comprehension were caused by differences in working memory capacity. A test with heavy processing and storage demands was devised to measure the trade-off between reading efficiency and the amount of additional information maintained in working memory. When 20 college students read aloud a series of sentences and then recalled the final word of each sentence, their reading span--the number of final words recalled--varied from two to five. This span correlated with three comprehension measures, including verbal SAT and tests involving fact retrieval and pronominal reference. Similar correlations were obtained with a listening span task, showing that the correlation was not specific to reading. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Basic Skills Group.
Authoring Institution: Carnegie-Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA. Dept. of Psychology.
Note: Not available in paper copy due to marginal legibility of original document.