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Title: Mind wandering during hypertext reading : the impact of hyperlink structure on reading comprehension and attention
Author(s): Schurer, Teresa
Opitz, BertramLook up in the Integrated Authority File of the German National Library
Schubert, TorstenLook up in the Integrated Authority File of the German National Library
Issue Date: 2023
Type: Article
Language: English
Abstract: Online reading is becoming more and more popular in learning and teaching environments. However, little is known about characteristics of hypertexts that influence on reading comprehension and attention. Some previous studies have suggested that attention failures also referred to as mind wandering (MW) occur whenever the available resources of the reader (e.g., working memory capacity; WMC) do not match the task demands (e.g., text difficulty). This study aims to investigate the effect of restructuring a linear text into different hypertext types by means of hyperlinks on MW in a cognitively demanding task like reading. We hypothesized that participants exposed to a difficult to read hypertext with networked structure engage more in task-unrelated thoughts (TUTs) compared to participants asked to read a difficult but hierarchically organized hypertext. 90 participants read either an easy or difficult version of the same unfamiliar hypertext with either a hierarchical or networked structure and with embedded thought probes. Reading comprehension and WMC measures followed. As expected, participants reading the difficult (to read) hypertext with networked link structure showed significantly more TUTs than participants reading the hierarchical link structure hypertext. In addition, readers with a low-WMC showed significantly more TUTs while reading a demanding hypertext regardless of its structure. These findings are in line with the view that mind wandering occurs if available resources do not match with task demands, and thus deepen assumptions about hyperlinks as new cohesive devices.
Open Access: Open access publication
License: (CC BY 4.0) Creative Commons Attribution 4.0(CC BY 4.0) Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Journal Title: Acta psychologica
Publisher: Elsevier
Publisher Place: Amsterdam
Volume: 233
Original Publication: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2023.103836
Appears in Collections:Open Access Publikationen der MLU

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