DOI: 10.18413/2313-8912-2023-9-1-0-8

Text and metatext event in the gaze behavior of impulsive and reflective readers

Experimental research testing the effects of text complexity onto gaze behavior and comprehension have revealed multiple factors which underlie the distribution of attention in reading. In the study, we explored event construal cues in text and metatext fragments in drama plays as mediating the gaze behavior of both reflective and impulsive readers. To annotate the event construal cues in text and metatext (in characters’ speech and in author’s remarks), we developed a Text Event Construal Protocol. It specifies three groups of construal cues in Referent group, Event Frame group, and Perspective group. The protocol was tested and implemented in the MultiCORText search engine and database. Cognitive semantic analysis helped identify the differences in event construal in author’s and characters’ intexts. The highest distinctions were found in perspective construal, where subjectivation cues were significantly less frequent in author’s intexts. Additionally, the differences were observed in other event construal groups, for instance in the frequency of abstract referent, activity of visual / audial perception or mental activity (thinking / understanding), and action, state or activity of space location. In the cognitive psychological study, we tested the gaze behavior of reflective and impulsive participants reading 5 one-page drama text fragments incorporating the author’s and characters’ intexts (overall, 126 areas of interest) previously annotated following the Text Event Construal Protocol. The study found evidence for significant distinctions in the gaze behavior (in First Fixation duration, Max Fixation duration) of the readers displaying different cognitive style; importantly, major effects of event construal cues were observed among the reflective readers. The results allowed to scale the effects of event construal cues in text and metatext for different groups of readers. Therefore, the data provide new evidence in the cognitive semantic research of text and metatext via the methods and instruments of cognitive psychology.


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