Individual differences in text predictive inferences
Doering, Jeffrey Caley
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The activation of a predictive inference relies largely on the amount of contextual support for the inference in the text (Cook, Limber, & O’Brien, 2001). However, few sources of individual differences in predictive inference activation have been isolated. An experiment designed to identify possible sources of individual differences was conducted. One hundred and one participants completed an inference task using a long-passage correct rejection paradigm that included passages with varying levels of contextual support occurring mid-passage. Participants also completed a reading span measure (Daneman & Carpenter, 1980) and a knowledge access measure (Potts & Peterson, 1985). Results from ANOVA and regression analyses suggest that readers with better knowledge access abilities are better able to correctly reject inference concepts and are less affected by a change in inference-facilitating contextual support. It is suggested that higher knowledge access readers are able to construct and maintain a more specific representation of the text.