Influence of questions on the allocation of attention during reading

Ralph E. Reynolds, Richard C. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


77 undergraduate readers were asked a question after every 4 pages of a 48-page oceanography text. Text information relevant to questions was learned better than text information irrelevant to questions. Reading times and probe RTs on a secondary task were longer when Ss were processing text segments containing information of the type addressed by questions. Results are discussed in the light of a theory that readers selectively allocate a greater volume of attention to question-relevant information and that a process supported by the additional attention causes more of the information to be learned. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-632
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1982
Externally publishedYes


  • questions, attention to relevant vs nonrelevant text information, college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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