TITLE

Effects of topic interest and prior knowledge on reading comprehension

AUTHOR(S)
Baldwin, R. Scott; Peleg-Bruckner, Ziva; McClintock, Ann H.
PUB. DATE
June 1985
SOURCE
Reading Research Quarterly;Summer1985, Vol. 20 Issue 4, p497
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
ALTHOUGH RECENT research indicates that children have better comprehension when they read material on topics which are highly interesting to them, the cause of this interest effect is unclear. The issue is whether or not the apparent impact of topic interest on reading comprehension is in reality a result of the fact that people tend to have more prior knowledge about topics in which they are especially interested. The purpose of this study was to separate the effects of prior knowledge and topic interest on reading comprehension. Subjects were 41 high-achieving seventh- and eighth-grade students who completed a 10-item interest inventory and took a 100-item prior knowledge test. Based on these measures, each subject read passages and took multiple-choice comprehension tests for which they had various combinations of high and low prior knowledge and topic interest. There were significant main effects for both prior knowledge and topic interest, p � .001. Results also revealed that boys were more influenced by topic interest than girls.
ACCESSION #
19236943

 

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