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Title:The effects of topic familiarity on good and poor readers' sensitivity to what is important in text
Author(s):Winograd, Peter; Newell, George
Subject(s):topic familiarity
reading achievement
sensitivity to importance
Abstract:This study examined the influence that topic familiarity had on good and poor readers' ability to identify and use important information in expository texts. Fifty-six eighth-grade students and thirty-seven adults indicated their relative familiarity with the topics of eight experimental passages using Guilford's (1954) method of paired comparisons. Subjects then read, summarized, and rated the importance of the information in each passage. Several measures of sensitivity to importance were derived from the children's summaries and importance ratings: (a) agreement with adult ratings; (b) agreement with peer ratings; (c) agreement with adult summaries; and (d) agreement with peer summaries. When the data were subjected to a 2 (Reading Achievement) x 2 (Topic Familiarity) repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance using the four measures of sensitivity to importance as dependent variables, significant effects were revealed for Reading Achievement (2 < .05) and Topic Familiarity (j> < .05). These results corroborate and extend earlier research dealing with sensitivity to importance.
Issue Date:1985-06
Publisher:Champaign, Ill. : University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Center for the Study of Reading.
Cambridge, Mass. : Bolt Beranek and Newman, Inc.
Series/Report:Center for the Study of Reading Technical Report ; no. 337
Genre:Technical Report
Rights Information:Copyright 1985 Board of Trustees University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-05-30
Identifier in Online Catalog:5305242
OCLC Identifier:17409195

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