Reading comprehension involves several cognitive factors during and after reading and differs between readers with different comprehension skills. The purpose of this study was to examine cognitive factors, specifically inference generation, during and after reading between skilled and less-skilled comprehenders. Additionally, other cognitive factors may influence skilled and less-skilled comprehenders' inference generation, and working memory (WM) may be a potential factor. A review of the adult-focused and children-focused literature for the research and theories in inference generation, WM, and comprehension skill are presented. Participants in this study included 61 third- through fifth-grade skilled and less-skilled comprehenders. Inference generation was examined during and after reading using a causal questioning technique and sentence verification task (SVT). Responses from recall were also collected to assess comprehension of the texts used in this study, and WM was examined as a moderator variable. Overall, there was an effect of questioning on some types of inferences generated and recall for skilled and less-skilled comprehenders, and WM appeared to moderate inference generation for skilled-comprehenders; however, there was no effect of type of comprehender on SVT responses. These findings are discussed in terms of maintaining local and global coherence during and after reading in order to develop a coherent representation of a text; updating after reading; and the role of WM during inference generation between skilled and less-skilled comprehenders.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. September 2011. Major: Educational Psychology. Advisors: Paul van den Broek,Kristen McMaster,. 1 computer file (PDF) ix, 248 pages, appendices A-E.
Carlson, Sarah Elizabeth.
The effects of questioning during and after reading on inference generation between skilled and less-skilled comprehenders..
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