Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorForrin, Noah 19:13:06 (GMT) 19:13:06 (GMT)
dc.description.abstractIn many situations, increasing task difficulty decreases thoughts that are unrelated to the task (i.e., mind-wandering; see Smallwood & Schooler, 2006, for a review). However, Feng, D’Mello, and Graesser (2013) recently reported a discrepant finding in the context of reading. They showed that increasing the objective reading difficulty of passages (by decreasing word frequency and complicating sentence structure) actually increased mind-wandering. The primary goal of this work was to gain insight into the mechanism that drives this positive relation between objective reading difficulty and mind-wandering. This effect is investigated over three chapters. Chapter 1 demonstrates that the effect of objective difficulty on mind-wandering is confounded by differences in passage section-length between easy and hard passages when they are presented one sentence at a time. Chapter 2 more broadly explores the possibility that distinctive processing influences subjective impressions of passage difficulty and interest (which may consequently influence mind-wandering). And Chapter 3 shows that mind-wandering increases over time spent reading, which may be related to decreasing subjective interest. This research builds to the conclusion that subjective interest is of central theoretical importance to research on difficulty and mind-wandering: A manipulation designed to influence the difficulty of a task may also influence participants’ subjective interest in the task, which may in turn influence their tendency to mind-wander.en
dc.publisherUniversity of Waterlooen
dc.titleHow Reading Difficulty Influences Mind-Wandering: The Theoretical Importance of Measuring Interesten
dc.typeDoctoral Thesisen
dc.pendingfalse of Waterlooen
uws-etd.degreeDoctor of Philosophyen
uws.contributor.advisorSmilek, Daniel
uws.contributor.advisorMacLeod, Colin
uws.contributor.affiliation1Faculty of Artsen

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record


University of Waterloo Library
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
519 888 4883

All items in UWSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved.

DSpace software

Service outages