READERS' PERCEPTION IN DETECTING AND PROCESSING EMBEDDED ERRORS IN MEANINGFUL TEXT
AuthorGollasch, Frederick Vincent
AdvisorGoodman, Kenneth S.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to investigate readers' processing of a short paragraph containing six embedded errors in order to test the predictive capacity of a psycholinguistic theory of the reading process and provide insight into readers' perceptual and semantic processing of meaningful text. Two hundred and forty junior high school and college subjects were randomly assigned to two groups. One group was instructed to read for meaning with no knowledge of the presence of the errors. The other group was instructed to read to detect the errors. After silently reading the passage all subjects were instructed to write a recall of the errors detected and a recall of the semantic content of the passage, after which they were permitted unlimited exposure to the passage in a second attempt to detect all the errors. In order to fulfill the main purposes of the study five research questions were developed involving twelve hypotheses. The research hypotheses were formulated on the basis of the Goodman Model of Reading and focused on possible differences across groups (meaning and error focus), across levels (junior high school and college), and across reading ability at the junior high school level (above and below average). The primary measures of the study were the mean number of errors detected under both limited and unlimited exposure conditions, the proportion of total possible detections made for individual errors under both limited and unlimited exposure, and passage recall scores. The data were subject to a number of analyses of variance, Tukey post hoc tests, and confidence interval calculations. The analyses resulted in the following principal findings: (1) Although error focus subjects detected significantly more errors than meaning focus subjects, all groups had difficulty detecting errors under both exposure conditions. (2) Passage recall scores revealed that all groups of subjects were drawn into processing the semantic content of the passage in spite of instructions. (3) More mature, efficient readers performed better on both error detection and comprehension than their counterparts. (4) As predicted on the basis of the underlying theoretical rationale, a powerful linear order of ease of detectability trend across the individual errors was revealed. In general the findings of the study provided considerable support for a psycholinguistic theory of the reading process in the form of the following major conclusions: the need to comprehend is central to the reading process; attention to meaning inhibits attention to fine graphic detail; accuracy in reading is a misnomer; readers do not process meaningful text letter by letter or word by word; cognitive processes influence perception; readers attend differentially to various syntactic and semantic components of text; more experienced, efficient readers display greater flexibility in their use of the process and are more easily able to change purposes during reading than their counterparts; reading is best described as an integrated, psycholinguistic process in which the reader, the text, and the message of the writer are important; the Goodman Model of Reading is a sound theoretical statement with considerable predictive capacity.
Degree ProgramGraduate College