ERIC Number: ED284183
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
The Effects of Pronoun Processing on Information Utilization during Fixations in Reading. Technical Report No. 405.
Blanchard, Harry E.
A study tested the hypothesis that the time it takes for information to be analyzed by the reader is sometimes delayed because concurrent comprehension processes are still occupied with analyzing previous information (the variable utilization time hypothesis). During fixations (when the eye rests during reading), visual information, at some point, is passed on to higher-level mental processors, such that the reader's comprehension of the text is furthered by the information. This is referred to as the time of utilization. Previous research showed that the time of utilization varies, occurring sometimes early, sometimes late, in the fixation. The method of determining the time of utilization used in previous experiments was combined with a manipulation of comprehension difficulty. The comprehension manipulation involved varying the distance between a pronoun and its referent, which has been shown to cause delayed processing effects. Subjects were college students or graduates with normal uncorrected vision, who read the text using a machine that recorded their eye movements during reading. The desired effects were not obtained in this experiment; thus the variable utilization time hypothesis could not be properly tested. Perhaps properties of the pronouns "he" and "she" made them easy to process regardless of distance from their referents, or discourse properties of the text involving focus change could have skewed the results. (Author/SKC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.