Mind wandering (MW), a shift of attention away from external tasks toward internally generated thoughts, has been frequently associated with costs in reading comprehension (RC), although with some contrasting results and many reported potential intervening factors. The aim of the meta-analysis was to evaluate the relationship between MW and RC, considering the role of participants' and text's characteristics, as well as methodological issues in the measurement of the two constructs. From a set of 25 selected full texts (73 correlation coefficients), pooled correlation (r = -0.21) revealed a negative significant relationship. Using trait-based questionnaires to assess MW compared with online probes resulted in an average significant change of 0.30 in the correlation between MW and RC, leading to a null correlation. A significant effect of age was also found, with more negative correlations with increasing age. None of the other moderating variables considered (i.e., language, text type, text length, RC assessment, text difficulty, text interest, and working memory) resulted in a significant effect. From the present meta-analysis, we might suggest that MW and RC are partially overlapping and vary, within a swing effect, in relation to a set of shared factors, such as working memory, interest, and text length. There might also be side-specific factors that drive the movement of primarily one side of the swing, and future research should further consider the role of individual differences in RC. Implications for research and educational settings are discussed.

The relationship between mind wandering and reading comprehension: A meta-analysis

Bonifacci, Paola
Primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Viroli, Cinzia
Secondo
Formal Analysis
;
Vassura, Chiara
Investigation
;
Colombini, Elisa
Investigation
;
Desideri, Lorenzo
Ultimo
Writing – Review & Editing
2022

Abstract

Mind wandering (MW), a shift of attention away from external tasks toward internally generated thoughts, has been frequently associated with costs in reading comprehension (RC), although with some contrasting results and many reported potential intervening factors. The aim of the meta-analysis was to evaluate the relationship between MW and RC, considering the role of participants' and text's characteristics, as well as methodological issues in the measurement of the two constructs. From a set of 25 selected full texts (73 correlation coefficients), pooled correlation (r = -0.21) revealed a negative significant relationship. Using trait-based questionnaires to assess MW compared with online probes resulted in an average significant change of 0.30 in the correlation between MW and RC, leading to a null correlation. A significant effect of age was also found, with more negative correlations with increasing age. None of the other moderating variables considered (i.e., language, text type, text length, RC assessment, text difficulty, text interest, and working memory) resulted in a significant effect. From the present meta-analysis, we might suggest that MW and RC are partially overlapping and vary, within a swing effect, in relation to a set of shared factors, such as working memory, interest, and text length. There might also be side-specific factors that drive the movement of primarily one side of the swing, and future research should further consider the role of individual differences in RC. Implications for research and educational settings are discussed.
Bonifacci, Paola; Viroli, Cinzia; Vassura, Chiara; Colombini, Elisa; Desideri, Lorenzo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/895335
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