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Title:Adult age differences in information foraging in interactive reading environments
Author(s):Liu, Xiaomei
Advisor(s):Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A.L.
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Information Foraging
Self-Regulated Learning
Abstract:When learning about a single topic in natural reading environments, readers are confronted with multiple resources varying in type and amount of information. In this situation, readers are free to select the resources and allocate time for study, but there may be costs in exploring and switching between resources. Thus, two experiments were conducted to investigate age differences in the selection and study time allocation in learning about a topic from multiple texts. Younger and older adults explored texts that varied in information richness (i.e., sentence elaboration) and under different conditions of switch cost (i.e., time delay in switching). In both experiments, participants selected less informative sentences first, and then moved progressively towards more informative sentences. Switch cost did not have any effect on selection and time allocation when there was no time pressure on learning. However, under moderate time pressure, increased switch cost led to a greater likelihood of selecting more informative texts first, more time allocation in studying, and better text memory. Older adults were more adaptive to the switch cost as shown by their earlier selection of more high-elaboration sentences in the large-switch-cost condition than in the small-switch-cost condition, whereas younger adults did not behave differently across switch cost conditions. The results indicated that both younger and older readers follow similar self-regulated strategies to gain information from texts, but these strategies can be influenced by the factors in search environment and learner’s age.
Issue Date:2015-01-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Xiaomei Liu
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-01-21
Date Deposited:2014-12

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