The two second year graduate students in our lab, Matt and Elise, will present the research they conducted during their first year in the lab at the First Year Project Symposium.
Elise will present her project, titled “Speaking during language learning might make you a better comprehender” at 12:20 pm. Abstract:
We investigated whether production experience during language learning might improve subsequent comprehension performance. We hypothesized that production experience would be specifically helpful in learning language dependencies such as suffixes marking number and semantic type. 122 Participants learned an artificial language including multiple types of dependencies in either a Production Learning Condition or a Comprehension Learning Condition. Training only differed on active Production and active Comprehension trials, which were equated for attention and listening experience. We also tested and controlled for vocabulary understanding. In two comprehension tests assessing suffix understanding and suffix agreement errors we found that Production participants significantly outperformed Comprehension participants on measures of both speed and accuracy, over and above any differences in vocabulary knowledge. Thus, we provided initial evidence that production experience during learning improves subsequent comprehension performance on at least some types of dependencies.
Matt will present his project, titled “Where language meets math: The impact of language difficulty on solving math story problems” at 3:20 pm, after which the reception will start around 4 pm. Abstract:
Previous research has shown that a variety of word qualities affect reading and comprehension in conventional reading tasks, including frequency of occurrence, familiarity, among others (Gernsbacher, 1984; Seidenberg, 2013). However, little is known about the specific effects of such word characteristics on the reading and solving of math story problems despite ample research about how they are written, their typology, and their solving patterns relative to symbolic mathematical equations (Abedi & Lord, 2001; Daroczy et al., 2015; Koedinger, Alibali, & Nathan, 2008). This talk will report on an experiment in which the difficulty of the words in math story problems were manipulated. Participants solved 16 math story problems of ranging reading and math difficulty (N = 65). The effects of word and math difficulty, as well as individual skill level in reading and math, on problem solving success are reported.
The symposium will take place this Friday, October 14th, 10.15 am – 4 pm in the Berkowitz room (338) in the Psychology building. The full program for the day can be found here. Feel free to attend part or all of the day.