Does monitoring event changes improve comprehension?

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Educational Methods


During narrative comprehension, reading times increase for changes in time, space, characters, goals, and causation. This study examined the extent to which instructional manipulations modify dimension monitoring during reading and whether this affects comprehension. Sixty-seven participants read three narratives (pretest). Half of the participants (the experimental group) were then instructed to simultaneously monitor changes in time, space, characters, goals, and causation. All participants then read three more narratives (post-test). After reading all texts, participants retold each story and answered comprehension questions. At post-test, the reading times for participants in the experimental group increased for changes in time, space, goals, and causation. Participants in the experimental group remembered more story information containing dimension changes compared with a control group (no instructional manipulation). However, participants in experimental and control groups did not differ in terms of overall memory or performance on comprehension questions. The results indicate that monitoring multiple dimensions simultaneously increases memory for those dimension changes but does not affect overall comprehension.