Do readers aware the causality when sentences used difference causal connectives?

Do readers aware the causality when sentences used difference causal connectives?

First Author: Minglei Chen -- National Tsing Hua University
Additional authors/chairs: 
SzuTing Cheng; ChiaSing Chen
Keywords: Inference, causality
Abstract / Summary: 

Maintaining causal coherence mental model is core processes for reading comprehension (van den Broek, 1990). Academic causal connectives include consequences (because), purpose (in order), manner (by), and condition (if) (Unsworth, 2001). Students with different academic reading experiences may not be aware of causality when using different causal connectives in textbooks. The present study invited 32 college students and 36 high school students to rate causality in sentences of different types of causal connectives. During 7-points rating task, we recorded the durations of sentences reading and the rating response time. We found that college students had longer reading time and response time than that of high school students for all four causal connective types (all ps <.05). However, college students had higher causality scores on the connective types for purpose and manner than that of high school students (b = 0.57, se = 0.26, t = 2.20, p = 0.03; b = 0.56, se = 0.26, t = 2.16, p = 0.03). The causality rating for “condition” type, both groups rating significant lower causality than that of “consequence” type (college students: b = -0.62, se = 0.24, t = -2.62, p = 0.01; high school students: b = -0.91, se = 0.23, t = -3.88, p = 0.00). The overall results suggested that students who have less academic reading experience are less sensitive to causality for those sentences with manner, purpose. And the condition causal type is implicit for both groups.