Dylan Blaum

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Britt, M. Anne

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Cognitive psychology


Reading for understanding in science is a complex process that requires the integration of information across many sources. This can be a very challenging task as many readers may not be familiar with how to read scientific texts or may simply not be interested in doing so. The present study aims to determine whether or not giving readers prompts asking them to find a solution to the problem of global climate change will help them better comprehend the causal information in a document set. Additionally, if solution reading prompts do have an effect on comprehension, the present study aims to examine if that effect is due to the prompt changing the readers' goals while reading or due to increasing their interest in the task. The results of the study showed no significant difference in deep comprehension of causal information due to reading prompts. However, readers who received a reading prompt focused on finding solutions to climate change had poorer comprehension of surface level information than those without a solution focused prompt. Due to the lack of direct effects of prompt on deep comprehension, the mediating effects of reader goals and interest could not be examined.


Advisors: M. Anne Britt.||Committee members: Amanda Durik; Keith Millis; Jennifer Wiley.||Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


v, 85 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type