Designating reader perspective to increase comprehension and interest

Crystal M. Ramsay, Rayne A. Sperling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In three experiments we examined whether reader perspective on a long expository text could be manipulated such that increased text interest and enhancement of two comprehension outcomes would result. In Experiment 1 we verified the viability of a new text for experimental purposes. We then assigned readers a perspective before reading in Experiment 2 and after reading in Experiment 3. One primary research question addressed whether interest in a long expository text could be manipulated by assigning readers a perspective. We considered this to be an examination of purpose-driven interest (Schraw & Dennison, 1994). As hypothesized, participants rated text segments as more interesting when the segments corresponded to their assigned perspective. In support of our second hypothesis, that recall would increase as a function of reader perspective, low to medium effects were found for both total number and depth of ideas recalled. We discuss implications of this work for understanding of the role of relevance in increasing recall. Implications for practice and future research are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-227
Number of pages13
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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