Reading and Writing

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 307–333 | Cite as

Examining interest throughout multiple text use

  • Alexandra ListEmail author
  • Lori A. Stephens
  • Patricia A. Alexander


Prior work has examined the role of interest in students’ single text processing and comprehension, but interest has been under-examined within the context of multiple text use. This study examines two forms of interest, individual interest and situational interest, in the context of students’ completion of a multiple text task. Time on texts and the number of texts students accessed were examined in association with both forms of interest and as mediators of the relation between situational interest and task performance. Situational interest, but not individual interest, was found to be associated with time devoted to text use, a measure of persistence or engagement during task completion. Prior knowledge, situational interest, number of texts used, and time on texts were found to predict performance on a multiple text task. Additionally, qualitative data determined how students explained interest as arising during multiple text task completion. Directions for future research and implications for instruction are introduced.


Interest Situational interest Individual interest Multiple text use Multiple text comprehension Motivation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education, College of EducationThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Ball State UniversityMuncieUSA
  3. 3.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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