The Construction of Mental Representations During Reading

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How word decoding skill impacts text memory: The centrality deficit and how domain knowledge can compensate. Annals of Dyslexia , 59, 99 — Effects of causal structure on immediate and delayed story recall by children with mild mental retardation, children with learning disabilities, and children without disabilities.

Journal of Special Education , 30, — It is plausible that sensitivity to structural centrality would also be reflected in the processes during comprehension, but there is only limited evidence. The effect of text highlighting on online processing, memory, and comprehension of central and peripheral information: Evidence from eye-movements. Journal of Research in Reading. Processing and memory of central versus peripheral information as a function of reading goals: Evidence from eye-movements.

Reading and Writing , 28, — On-line processing of the topic structure of a text. Discourse Processes , 10, 63 — We turn to issues concerning the online processes as a reader proceeds through a text in the remainder of this article. As mentioned, there is general consensus that readers engage in both passive and reader-initiated processes as they proceed through a text.

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A considerable amount of research has been devoted to the passive processes during reading. The associative processes are described as spread of activation Anderson, Anderson, J. A spreading activation theory of memory.

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To teach readers to identify the "main idea" in texts is a well-known approach that has had a positive impact on text comprehension. Regardless of the reason, the finding that these same regions activate for expository text is noteworthy and highlights the common functions being played by these regions across a variety of tasks that require constructing a coherent representation. Metacognitive aspects of problem solving. Other less effective strategies that readers could employ are rereading the text or only paraphrasing the text by putting the text into their own words Chi et al. This volume presents in-depth investigations of the processes of meaning-making during reading at both local discourse and global general knowledge levels. Chein, J. The procedure for the unpublished study will be described here in detail.

Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior , 22, — Inference during reading. Psychological Review , 99, — Text comprehension: A view from the bottom-up. Goldman , A. Passive processes are captured in fairly detailed models, which specify various factors that influence the availability of information from memory through passive processes.

Coherence threshold and the continuity of processing: The RI-Val model of comprehension. Discourse Processes 53 , — Updating a situation model: A memory-based text processing view. A retrieval theory of priming in memory.

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Besides passive processes there are also reader-initiated processes that take place during reading. Reader-initiated processes do not always take place, and because they require control and attentional resources on the part of the reader, they consume time and effort.

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But they can lead to comprehension beyond what results from the passive processes alone. There is a wide variety of possible reader-initiated processes e. Effective practices for developing reading comprehension. Samuels Eds. SERT: Self-explanation reading training.

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Discourse Processes , 38, 1 — Developing expertise in reading comprehension. Farstrup Eds. Skilled comprehension and its development through instruction. Minimal or global inference during reading. Journal of Memory and Language , 33, — Reader-initiated processes have received less systematic research attention than passive processes, in part because they are so varied. As a result, their role and nature tend to be relatively vague and underspecified.

Central to our framework is the notion that reader-initiated processes lie along a continuum reflecting the degree to which they are constrained by the text. The continuum ranges from processes that remain close to the actual text itself to processes that go well beyond the information in the text.

Interpretive inferences in literature. Lorch Eds. Reader-initiated processes are effortful and therefore do not always take place.

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However, with practice and education they may become more routinized and hence more similar to passive processes in their cognitive demands. This is particularly the case for close-to-the-text, coherence-building processes because they are triggered more frequently and more consistently than the greatly varying and situation-dependent interpretive processes. Skills and strategies: Their differences, their relationships, and why it matters. Sheorey Eds. Norwood, MA : Christopher Gordon. Toward a theory of automatic information process in reading.

Cognitive Psychology , 6, — Comprehending implicit meanings in text without making inferences. In the following sections we explore possible interactions between passive and reader-initiated processes. In doing so, we focus on the close-to-the-text end of the continuum of reader-initiated processes, because 1 text-constrained processes are fundamental to reading comprehension and interpretive processes that may follow and 2 they are more defined and better understood than the potentially unlimited variety of far-from-the-text processes.

Although most studies and models assume that both passive and reader-initiated processes play a role in text comprehension, they usually focus on one or the other set of processes. Thus, it is unclear exactly how passive and reader-initiated processes combine to create comprehension and whether they interact in doing so. Likewise, although models assume that the online processes lead to the outcome of a mental representation of the text as a whole, they rarely specify in what manner the online processes do so. In this section we provide a framework for conceptualizing the interplay of various comprehension processes that take place during reading and the manner in which these processes lead to and, at the same time, depend on the emerging representation of the text.

We do so in three subsections, concerning the relation between passive and reader-initiated processes, their contribution to coherence, and the reciprocal relation between processes and developing representation, respectively. Figure 1 provides a schematic description of the flow of information in the framework triggered by reading a text segment, and Table 1 summarizes the theoretical principles captured in the framework.

Theoretical principles guiding the framework of reading comprehension. Figure 1. Reading comprehension: Interactions between passive and reader-initiated processes, standards of coherence, and evolving mental representation. Because passive processes are not controlled by the reader, they always take place. In contrast, reader-initiated processes require effort on the part of the reader and do not occur always. As mentioned above, reader-initiated processes vary in the degree to which they are constrained by the text, ranging from close-to-the-text, coherence-building processes on the one hand to far-from-the-text, interpretive processes on the other hand.

Inference generation in text comprehension: Automatic and strategic processes in the construction of a mental representation.

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When a reader meets a text: The role of standards of coherence in reading comprehension. Schraw Eds. Greenwich, CT : Information Age. Lorch Jr. Standards of coherence have several important properties. First, they encompass both the types of coherence e. Second, there are individual and developmental differences in standards.

These factors themselves may depend on properties of the text e. Fourth, standards of coherence and the attention-allocation and reading-comprehension strategies used in the service of attaining the standards can be acquired through practice and study. Moreover, with practice standards and strategies can become more automatized.

In our framework, a powerful circumstance that leads to reader-initiated processes occurs when passive processes alone do not lead to adequate comprehension. Together, these processes allow the reader to infer semantic relations between the current, focal segment and other information and thereby to build a coherent representation of the text. The role of epistemic beliefs in the comprehension of multiple expository texts: Toward an integrated model.

Educational Psychologist , 46, 48 — The skills of document use: From text comprehension to Web-based learning. Details on the various sources and types of inferences they afford can be found elsewhere e. Concerning the respective roles of passive and reader-initiated processes, there are several important points to be noted.