Evaluation and revision of inferential comprehension in narrative texts: an eye movement study
Pérez A., Joseph HSSL., Bajo T., Nation K.
© 2015 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.ABSTRACT: We investigated how adult readers evaluate and revise their situation model, by monitoring their eye movements as they read narrative texts and critical sentences. In each text, a short introduction primed an inference, followed by a concept that was either expected (e.g. “oven”) or unexpected (e.g. “grill”). Eye movements showed that readers detected a mismatch between the unexpected information and their prior interpretation, confirming their ability to evaluate inferential information. Subsequently, a critical sentence included a word that was either congruent (e.g. “roasted”) or incongruent (e.g. “barbecued”) with the expected but not the unexpected concept. Readers spent less time reading the congruent than the incongruent word, reflecting the facilitation of prior information. In addition, when the unexpected concept had been presented, participants with lower verbal (but not visuospatial) working memory span exhibited longer reading times and made more regressions on encountering congruent information, indicating difficulty in revising their situation model.