Accession Number:

ADA239731

Title:

Novice Strategies for Comprehending Technical Texts

Descriptive Note:

Final rept. Aug 1985-Jun 1988

Corporate Author:

CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIV PITTSBURGH PA DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1991-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

107.0

Abstract:

This project investigated the comprehension of technical texts by novice readers i.e., people not familiar with technical subject matter. It focused on two questions 1 How do novice readers determine what is important in technical texts and 2 How does the organization of information in technical domains domains influence novice text processing and learning Our research on how novices assess importance found that they develop rules that define what categories of information i.e., definitions, facts, equations, etc. are important in technical domains and judge importance in technical texts using these rules. These rules determine what novices pay attention to during reading, what they remember later, and their depth of understanding of the text. However, these rules are too general to allow novices to accurately assess important information in technical texts. Accordingly, these findings have practical implications for how technical texts should be written to correct for these importance rules and guide novices to the appropriate content.

Subject Categories:

  • Information Science
  • Psychology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE