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ERIC Number: EJ877197
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 77
ISSN: ISSN-0163-853X
Effects of Task Instruction and Personal Epistemology on the Understanding of Multiple Texts about Climate Change
Braten, Ivar; Stromso, Helge I.
Discourse Processes: A Multidisciplinary Journal, v47 n1 p1-31 2010
In present-day knowledge societies, readers cannot understand complex issues without constructing meaning across multiple information sources. To what extent they are able to do so may depend on both characteristics of reading tasks and characteristics of readers themselves. In this study, 184 undergraduates read multiple texts about the complex issue of climate change in 3 task conditions: argument, summary, and global understanding. Results showed that readers given the tasks of constructing arguments and summarizing information were more able to build deep-level, integrated understandings from the texts than readers given the task of producing a general overview. However, effects of task were moderated by readers' beliefs concerning the certainty of knowledge about climate change. Specifically, readers who considered knowledge about climate change to be tentative and evolving were more able to profit from the argument task and more constrained by the global understanding task than were readers who considered knowledge about climate change to be certain. These findings provide new insight into task and reader characteristics that underlie deep-level, integrated understanding of multiple texts. (Contains 1 table, 2 figures, and 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Program for International Student Assessment