- Volume 17 Issue 2
Three experiments were conducted using a verification task to examine good and poor readers' generation of causal inferences(with because sentences) and contrastive inferences(with although sentences). The unfamiliar, critical verification statement was either explicitly mentioned or was implied. In Experiment 1, both good and poor readers responded accurately to the critical statement, suggesting that both groups had the linguistic knowledge necessary to the required inferences. Differences were found, however, in the groups' verification latencies. Poor, but not good, readers responded faster to explicit than to implicit verification statements for both because and although sentences. In Experiment 2, poor readers were induced to generate causal inferences for the because experimental sentences by including fillers that were apparently counterfactual unless a causal inference was made. In Experiment 3, poor readers were induced to generate contrastive inferences for the although sentences by including fillers that could only be resolved by making a contrastive inference. Verification latencies for the critical statements showed that poor readers made causal inferences in Experiment 2 and contrastive inferences in Experiment 3 doting comprehension. These results were discussed in terms of context effect: Specific encoding operations performed on anomaly backgrounded in another passage would form part of the context that guides the ongoing activity in processing potentially relevant subsequent text.
active and passive modes of processing;individual differences;causal and contrastive inferences;context effect