, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 266-273

Reading and cognitive capacity usage: Adjunct question effects

Abstract

Cognitive capacity usage during reading was measured in two experiments. During reading of a 27-page passage on marine biology, text-relevant inserted questions, irrelevant questions, or no questions were answered by undergraduates. Cognitive capacity usage increased when text-relevant questions began but not when irrelevant questions began or when no questions were given. The increase in cognitive capacity usage was largest on pages immediately following questions. Cognitive capacity is used in the elaborative stages of text processing.

This research was supported by a grant from the University of Georgia. Appreciation is due to Ben Stephens and Tim Casey for assistance in testing subjects, to Ellen Gagné, Milton Hodge, and reviewers for helpful comments, and to Robert Westbrook and Robbie Ann Ziegler for assistance in data analysis. Ms. Ziegler was supported by National Science Foundation Grant SMI 77-00233.