Reading and Writing

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 335–356 | Cite as

Direct and indirect effects of textual and individual factors on source-content integration when reading about a socio-scientific issue

  • Elisabeth Stang Lund
  • Ivar BråtenEmail author
  • Christian Brandmo
  • Eva W. Brante
  • Helge I. Strømsø


The purpose of this study was to test a hypothesized model that specified direct and indirect effects of textual and individual factors on readers’ ability to integrate information about sources and content when reading multiple conflicting texts on a controversial socio-scientific issue. Using a path analytic approach with a sample of 140 Norwegian upper secondary school students, it was found that the textual factor of presentation format, specifically whether they read about the conflicting issue in multiple texts or in a single text, affected source-content integration directly as well as indirectly through memory for textual conflicts. Thus, compared to interacting with a single text, interacting with multiple texts improved students’ sourcing performance directly as well as indirectly. Further, the individual factors of prior knowledge and gender affected source-content integration directly, with prior knowledge also having an indirect effect that was mediated by memory for textual conflicts. Specifically, students with higher prior knowledge and girls were likely to display better sourcing performance than were students with lower prior knowledge and boys, and prior knowledge also had an indirect positive effect on sourcing via memory for textual conflicts. Theoretical as well as educational implications of the findings are discussed.


Multiple texts Presentation format Individual differences Textual conflicts Sourcing 



The research reported in this article was funded by Grant 237981/H20 from the Research Council of Norway to Ivar Bråten and Helge I. Strømsø.


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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of Teacher Education and School ResearchUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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