The effects of readers' goals on inference generation and memory for texts.

TitleThe effects of readers' goals on inference generation and memory for texts.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
JournalMemory & cognition
Volume29
Issue8
Pagination1081-7
ISSN0090-502X
Abstract

We investigated the effects of readers' goals on inference generation and memory for expository text. College students (N = 82) read texts for the purpose of either study or entertainment. On-line inference generation was recorded via think-aloud procedures, and off-line memory was assessed via free recall. Reading goal strongly influenced inferential activity: Readers with a study goal produced more coherence-building (i.e., backward/explanatory and forward/predictive) inferences, whereas readers with an entertainment goal produced more associations and evaluations. These differences were associated with superior memory for the texts in the study condition. The results indicate that inference generation during reading is partly strategic and is influenced systematically by reading purpose. We propose that reading goals influence readers' standards of coherence, which in turn influence the types of inferences that they draw and the final memory representations that they construct.

Short TitleMem Cognit
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