HOW IS READING TIME INFLUENCED BY KNOWLEDGE-BASED INFERENCES AND WORLD KNOWLEDGE?
Arthur C. Graesser Memphis State University
Karl Haberlandt Trinity College
David Koizumi Catholic University
A satisfactory model of executive control processes during reading must account for inference generation. Unfortunately, however, cognitive psychologists do not have a fine-grained understanding of inference generation, compared to their understanding of processing components that are directly linked to explicit text. This chapter reports some data and aspires to clarify two important questions regarding the relationship between inference generation and executive control processes. First, how do variations in executive control processes influence the generation of knowledge-based inferences during reading? Second, what is the impact of inference generation and world knowledge on reading time?
There are several alternative ways that executive control processes may influence inference generation. Perhaps variations in the readers' goals and conscious reading strategies determine what inferences are generated and how much processing resources are allocated to different categories of inferences. If this is the case, then researchers need to identify different categories of inferences and to explain how variations in executive control processes systematically map onto the cognitive resources allocated to the different categories. Alternatively, perhaps executive control processes merely determine the overall amount of cognitive resources allocated to inference generation, without any selective allocation to specific inference categories. In other words, variations in executive control processes might determine the amount of cognitive resources