Adult age differences in reading and rereading processes associated with problem solving

Lisa M. Soederberg Miller, Danielle D. Gagne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigated age differences in reading and rereading processes associated with problem solving and explored the extent to which prior information affects rereading processes. Participants' reading times were recorded as they read short mysteries, twice, at their own pace on a computer, with the goal of providing the solution to the mystery. We varied the amount of information provided prior to rereading the mysteries such that participants received: no new information, a hint (partial information), or the full solution. Reading times for trial 1 and for all three rereading conditions were decomposed to determine resource allocation to specific reading processes including conceptual integration, attention to critical regions, and instantiation of new characters in the narrative. We found that younger and older adults attended to critical regions of the problem similarly on trial 1 as well as when rereading with no information or a hint. Age differences were found, however, in the effects of rereading with prior information on conceptual integration. For older relative to younger adults, a hint was more effortful (as reflected in conceptual processing time) and was not as helpful (as reflected in problem-solving accuracy scores). However, older adults who increased time to conceptual integration when applying a hint had higher performance on the second trial, suggesting increased integration is an effective strategy when utilizing new information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-45
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2008

Keywords

  • Age differences
  • Language comprehension
  • Problem solving
  • Rereading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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