Aging and the effects of knowledge on on-line reading strategies

Lisa M.Soederberg Miller, Elizabeth A.L. Stine-Morrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of knowledge on on-line reading strategies and the relation of these effects to subsequent memory performance among young and elderly adults were investigated. Participants read passages with vague, ill-defined content word-by-word on a computer screen for immediate recall and reading times were recorded. High-knowledge (HK) readers received passage titles that clarified the content and low-knowledge (LK) readers did not. Reading strategy was found to be related to age, knowledge, and subsequent recall performance. LK readers, particularly those who produced high levels of recall, spent differentially more time at intrasentence and sentence boundaries suggesting that they allocated more processing resources to consolidate the concepts in the seemingly disjointed text. HK readers, on the other hand, showed facilitation in this organizational processing. These beneficial effects were more pronounced for elderly readers titan for younger readers, suggesting that older readers take special advantage of knowledge in the on-line processing of discourse, Moreover, older LK readers who were above average in recall were differentially slowed at boundaries showing that successful older readers who lacked a situation model with which to interpret text allocated differentially more time to organize and integrate text than did their younger counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)P223-P233
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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