ERIC Number: EJ1055891
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
Updating during Reading Comprehension: Why Causality Matters
Kendeou, Panayiota; Smith, Emily R.; O'Brien, Edward J.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v39 n3 p854-865 May 2013
The present set of 7 experiments systematically examined the effectiveness of adding causal explanations to simple refutations in reducing or eliminating the impact of outdated information on subsequent comprehension. The addition of a single causal-explanation sentence to a refutation was sufficient to eliminate any measurable disruption in comprehension caused by the outdated information (Experiment 1) but was not sufficient to eliminate its reactivation (Experiment 2). However, a 3 sentence causal-explanation addition to a refutation eliminated both any measurable disruption in comprehension (Experiment 3) and the reactivation of the outdated information (Experiment 4). A direct comparison between the 1 and 3 causal-explanation conditions provided converging evidence for these findings (Experiment 5). Furthermore, a comparison of the 3 sentence causal-explanation condition with a 3 sentence qualified-elaboration condition demonstrated that even though both conditions were sufficient to eliminate any measurable disruption in comprehension (Experiment 6), only the causal-explanation condition was sufficient to eliminate the reactivation of the outdated information (Experiment 7). These results establish a boundary condition under which outdated information will influence comprehension; they also have broader implications for both the updating process and knowledge revision in general.
Descriptors: Attribution Theory, Reading Comprehension, Comparative Analysis, Sentences, Reading Processes, Reading Research, Undergraduate Students, Reading Rate, Computer Assisted Testing, Cognitive Processes, Reading Tests, Memory
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Hampshire