Date of Award

4-29-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Robin Morris - Chair

Second Advisor

Mary Morris

Third Advisor

Erin McClure Tone

Fourth Advisor

David Washburn

Abstract

This project examined whether the executive functions of set maintenance and switching, as assessed by neuropsychological testing, were predictors of set maintenance and switching within a more ecologically valid task that used metacognitive strategies during reading comprehension tasks as a framework for evaluation. Gaze times to key words during reading were used as an indirect measure of strategy use. A few significant relationships were found between set maintenance and set switching on the neuropsychological measures and the strategy learning and application tasks. Participants were more likely to switch to appropriate strategies in a situation in which they were given free choice of strategies to use, and in which characteristics of the text pulled for the use of a particular strategy. In contrast, participants were less consistent with expected strategy use when they had just learned a strategy and were asked explicitly to apply it to a text that did not pull for use of a particular strategy. Factors such as visual scanning, motor speed, working memory, and passage comprehension affected the relationship between executive functions and the more ecologically valid task.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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