Using Eye Movement to Study Adolescents' Comprehension of Visual Texts

Using Eye Movement to Study Adolescents' Comprehension of Visual Texts

Paula Wolfe (University of Phoenix, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2808-1.ch013
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Abstract

This research used eye movement tracking to study the ways adolescents decode and comprehend multimodal texts. The focus is on eye movement regression between text and picture to investigate how participants use the two-stage information-processing model when attempting to comprehend visual texts. Ten adolescents ranging in age from 14 to 19 were asked to read a series of different types of visually based texts. Specifically, they read six short excerpts from graphic novels that varied widely in the complexity of both textual and visual features. The narratives included graphic novels, graphic retellings of canonical texts, and wordless visual texts.
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Modes Of Inquiry And Data Sources

The work of Carroll et al. (1992), discussed earlier, showed that the more complex the task, the more likely readers are to move from basic literal interpretation into deep problem-solving processing modes. This finding raises the question of what relationship exists between complexity and comprehension in the reading of visual texts. For example, do readers use visuals to support their comprehension of text embedded in graphic novels? Should we expect to find that more difficult visual texts are associated with more or less searching for nonliteral interpretations of elements such as symbolism, metaphor, and foreshadowing?

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