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Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 323–350 | Cite as

A reexamination of the role of attention in learning from text

  • Suzanne E. Hidi
Article

Abstract

This paper reviews some of the recent models of selective attention and concludes that these models simplify and restrict the role of attention in reading and learning. It is maintained that the most critical problem of the models is that they do not acknowledge the important function of attention in the early stages of the reading process when meaning and importance ratings are first established. It is further suggested that reading and secondary task reaction times which have been used to measure attention, are inadequate as they cannot distinguish between different attention phases. A new model of how attention affects text comprehension is proposed. Finally, it is argued that to examine the complex effects of attention on reading and learning, novel research questions should be asked, and new ways to evaluate attention must be considered. More specifically, research on attention by cognitive and educational psychologists should utilize neuroscientific brain research methods, such as event-related potentials, and should integrate findings across research domains.

Key Words

selective attention reading brain salience 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne E. Hidi
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Applied Cognitive ScienceThe Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationToronto

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