Self-paced sentence-by-sentence reading on story comprehension, recall, and narrative transportation

Self-paced sentence-by-sentence reading on story comprehension, recall, and narrative transportation

First Author: Ashley Chung-Fat-Yim -- York University
Additional authors/chairs: 
Jordan Peterson; Raymond Mar
Keywords: Reading engagement, Comprehension, narratives, Sentence Comprehension
Abstract / Summary: 

In past research recording reading times for discourse, a self-paced sentence-by-sentence paradigm has been employed to present text. However, presenting discourse in this way does not mirror real-world reading conditions, in which the reader is able to backtrack and regress to earlier portions of the text. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the ecological validity of self-paced sentence-by-sentence presentation. The latter is compared to reading one page at a time, on measures of story comprehension, recall, and narrative transportation (i.e. engagement with the text) across two time-points (immediate and delayed). Narrative transportation did not differ between conditions for both time-points. However, participants who read the story as isolated sentences scored marginally higher on immediate comprehension and recall, suggesting that this presentation aided initial attention to information. No differences were found between presentation formats for delayed comprehension and recall, implying no greater retention of this information. As a whole, these results validate the self-paced sentence-by-sentence paradigm for measuring reading times.