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   2012, Vol. 44 Issue (5) : 569-584     DOI:
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The Bi-processing Theory of Text Comprehension and Experimental Evidences
MO Lei;WANG Rui-Ming;LENG Ying
(1 Center for Studies of Psychological Application, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China)
(2 College of Educational Science, Nantong University, Nantong 226007, China)
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Abstract  Text comprehension is one of the most complex and unique cognitive activities of human beings and is also an important way for us to get information. Therefore, information processing in text comprehension has long been a hot topic in the field of psychology.
To attempt to maintain a both locally and globally coherent text representation, readers need to integrate the information currently being read in text comprehension not only with the contents in their working memory, but also with the relevant information from earlier portions of the text in their long-term memory (background information). Current research focuses on the extent to which readers immediately activate background information and how readers integrate this with incoming information. In other words, the aim of current research is to investigate whether the information processing is initiative, positive and strategic or passive, negative and automatic. Regarding this question, there are three main theoretical perspectives with certain experimental evidences, including the constructivism theory, the minimalist hypothesis and the memory-based text processing view.
On the basis of summing up the results of research on text comprehension, the bi-processing theory of text comprehension has been proposed to integrate the current controversy. This theory holds that information processing in text comprehension includes coherence-based processing and focus-based processing. Readers should use different methods of information processing according to the characteristics of the materials in text comprehension. The theory also elaborates on text representation and inference in text-reading and forms a complete theoretical frame. A series of experiments has been carried out based on this frame and abundant evidences have been obtained, which greatly enriched the bi-processing theory of text comprehension. In addition, some opinions on the bi-processing theory of text comprehension should be further verified and some questions should receive more attention in future studies.
Keywords Text comprehension      Information processing      Coherence-based processing      Focus-based processing     
Corresponding Authors: MO Lei   
Issue Date: 28 May 2012
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MO Lei
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MO Lei,WANG Rui-Ming,LENG Ying. The Bi-processing Theory of Text Comprehension and Experimental Evidences[J]. , 2012, 44(5): 569-584.
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2012/V44/I5/569
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