Document Detail


Mind wandering while reading easy and difficult texts.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23288660     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Mind wandering is a phenomenon in which attention drifts away from the primary task to task-unrelated thoughts. Previous studies have used self-report methods to measure the frequency of mind wandering and its effects on task performance. Many of these studies have investigated mind wandering in simple perceptual and memory tasks, such as recognition memory, sustained attention, and choice reaction time tasks. Manipulations of task difficulty have revealed that mind wandering occurs more frequently in easy than in difficult conditions, but that it has a greater negative impact on performance in the difficult conditions. The goal of this study was to examine the relation between mind wandering and task difficulty in a high-level cognitive task, namely reading comprehension of standardized texts. We hypothesized that reading comprehension may yield a different relation between mind wandering and task difficulty than has been observed previously. Participants read easy or difficult versions of eight passages and then answered comprehension questions after reading each of the passages. Mind wandering was reported using the probe-caught method from several previous studies. In contrast to the previous results, but consistent with our hypothesis, mind wandering occurred more frequently when participants read difficult rather than easy texts. However, mind wandering had a more negative influence on comprehension for the difficult texts, which is consistent with the previous data. The results are interpreted from the perspectives of the executive-resources and control-failure theories of mind wandering, as well as with regard to situation models of text comprehension.
Authors:
Shi Feng; Sidney D'Mello; Arthur C Graesser
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-1-4
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychonomic bulletin & review     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1531-5320     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychon Bull Rev     Publication Date:  2013 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-1-4     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9502924     Medline TA:  Psychon Bull Rev     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
Psychology Department, University of Memphis, 202 Psychology Building, Memphis, TN, 38152-3230, USA, sfeng@memphis.edu.
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