Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair(s)

Lani M. Van Dusen


Lani M. Van Dusen


Kay Camperell


Keith T. Checketts


James Cangelosi


Tamara J. Ferguson


The potential differential effects of discourse type on the study of adjunct question efficacy were examined. The interaction among discourse type, question level, and time of test was investigated as reflected by readers' intentional and incidental learning outcomes. Eighty-four undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory psychology course were randomly assigned to four experimental conditions: (a) texts with low-order questions, (b) texts with high-order questions, (c) texts with both low- and high-order questions, and (d) texts with no questions. Each subject read both the narrative text and the expository text. The dependent measure was composed of five subscales of the criterion test, focusing on the relation between levels of questions and levels of importance in the queried information. Immediate and seven-day delayed testing results were examined using multivariate analysis of variance repeated measures, simple main effects analysis, Newman-Keuls multiple comparison, and paired t tests.

Adjunct questions were found to be more facilitative for comprehending the expository text than for the narrative text at the college level. An interaction among discourse type, question level, and time of test was found. The effects elicited by low-order questions increased over time in the expository text, but declined rapidly in the narrative text, whereas effects induced by high-order questions remained stable in the narrative text, but declined significantly in the expository text over time. In addition, intentional learning was less susceptible to the time effect than incidental learning for both types of text. On most measures, subjects provided with low-order questions outperformed those provided with high-order questions. The study suggests that the differential effects of adjunct questions might be a function of the combined force of discourse type, question level, and time of test; further research is needed to explore the relative efficacy of adjunct questions of different levels.



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Psychology Commons