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Experiment Author: M.A. Just, P.A. Carpenter, and J.D. Wooley Adapted from STEP and used with permission of Brian MacWhinney
This experiment demonstrates the self-paced moving window paradigm, in which participants read by seeing one word at a time in the position it would normally have occupied in the passage. They control, by pressing a button, when the word they are seeing disappears and when the next one appears.
This experiment must maintain display settings at 640x480 pixels to ensure accuracy.
In this experiment, participants read groups of sentences and are asked a yes or no question after each group. Participants press the spacebar and the first word of the sentence will appear. For each press of the spacebar, the next word appears and the previous word disappears. There is a practice section which includes five sentence groups. The critical trials contain 38 sentence groups. Sentence groups are selected sequentially from a list. Participants respond yes or no by pressing the 'y' or 'n' key on the keyboard.
Just, M.A., Carpenter, P.A., and Wooley, J.D. (1982). Paradigms and Processes in Reading Comprehension. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 111 (2), 228-238.
This article compares several methods of presenting text, including a new paradigm that produces reading-time data with many of the characteristics of naturally occurring eye-fixation data. In the new paradigm, called the moving window condition, a reader presses a button to see each successive word in a text, and the previous word is removed when a new word appears. The words appear in the same position that they would in a normal text, and word-length information is available in peripheral vision. The results are qualitatively and quantitatively compared to the results obtained by monitoring the eye fixations of subjects reading normal text. The word-level effects are generally similar. Readers pause longer on longer words, on less frequent words, on words that introduce a new topic, and at ends of sentences. The results suggest that readers initiate the processing of each word as soon as they encounter it rather than buffer words and delay processing. Also considered are two other reading-time paradigms, one in which words are cumulatively displayed on the screen and one in which each successive word is presented at the same location on the screen. Finally, we consider how the tendency to immediately process text might interact with other techniques for text presentation, such as the rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) condition, and we generate predictions about the nature and limits of the method.
Works Cited by the Experiment
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Carpeneter, P.A., & Daneman, M. Lexical retrieval and error recovery in reading: A model based on eye fixations. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 1981, 20, 137-160.
Carpenter, P.A., & Just, M.A. What your eyes do while your mind is reading. In K. Rayner (Ed.), Eye movements in reading: Perceptual and language processes. New York: Academic Press, in press.
Daneman, M., & Carpenter, P.A. Individual differences in working memory and reading. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 1980, 19, 450-466.
Dee-Lucas, D., Just, M.A., Carpenter, P.A., & Daneman, M. What eye fixations tell us about the time course of text integration. In R. Groner & P. Fraisse (Eds.), Cognition and eye movements. Amsterdam: North Holland, in press.
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Just, M.A., & Carpenter, P.A. Inference processes during reading: Reflections from eye fixations. In J.W. Senders, D.F. Fisher, & R.A. Monty (Eds.), Eye movements and the higher psychological functions. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1978.
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Lawrence, D.H. Two studies of visual search for word targets with controlled rates of presentation. Perception & Psychophysics, 1971, 10, 85-89.
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