Abstract: Text Comprehension

GERNSBACHER, M. A., & KASCHAK, M. (2013). Text comprehension. In D. Reisberg (Ed.),The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Psychology (pp. 462-474). New York: Oxford University Press.

The study of text comprehension is the study of the cognitive processes involved as people process (and ultimately understand) the words, phrases, and sentences that make up larger bodies of language use (e.g., stories, magazine articles, novels, and so on). This chapter provides an introduction to several aspects of research on text comprehension: the methods commonly employed to study text comprehension, the major themes that have emerged over the past several decades of work in this field, and the theories that have been proposed to explain the comprehension process. In examining each of these aspects of the field, we highlight not only the state of the art in what is currently known about text comprehension but also the wide range of techniques and research questions that have come to characterize this area of psychological research.