The Construction of Mental Representations during Reading

The Construction of Mental Representations during Reading

The Construction of Mental Representations during Reading

The Construction of Mental Representations during Reading

Synopsis

This volume presents in-depth investigations of the processes of meaning-making during reading at both local (discourse) and global (general knowledge) levels. It considerably extends our knowledge of how mental representations are constructed and updated during reading. The book also provides insight into the process of representation construction by using online measures and relating this process with final memory representations; provides detailed models of these processes; pays attention to the coordination of multiple representations constructed; focuses on the monitoring and updating of mental representations; and applies all this knowledge to richer and more complicated texts than are often used in laboratories.

Excerpt

Some of the earliest research on reading was concerned with how readers process a text and make meaning from the printed information. For example, Buswell (1920) was one of the first to investigate readers' eye movements during reading. His work was guided by the structural characteristics of the printed text, for example, where on the page readers fixated. His analytic descriptions were in terms of the parts of the line and page rather than on the informational or functional properties of the fixated text. Buswell's emphasis was consistent with the larger theoretical zeitgeist of that time, emphasizing structural approaches to language.

At a similar point in time, Bartlett, a social psychologist, was emphasizing a more reader-based aspect of the reading process. He was one of the first to point out the importance to the meaning-making process of the reader's knowledge and familiarity with the context and content of the material being read. With the publication of Remembering in 1932, Bartlett showed how readers' memories for what they had read changed over time to increasingly reflect their expectations about what the text should or could have said. These expectations were rooted in readers' prior knowledge of the experiences and situations described in the text. in essence, the inferences readers made were consistent with their prior knowledge. Successive "retellings" of the story they had read, War of the Ghosts, increasingly resembled circumstances and events with which the readers were familiar rather than the culturally unfamiliar practices described in the story.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.