Question asking and eye tracking during cognitive disequilibrium: comprehending illustrated texts on devices when the devices break down


The PREG model of question asking assumes that questions emerge when there is cognitive disequilibrium, as in the case of contradictions, obstacles, and anomalies. Participants read illustrated texts about everyday devices (e.g., a cylinder lock) and then were placed in cognitive disequilibrium through a breakdown scenario (e.g., the key turns but the bolt does not move). The participants asked questions when given the breakdown scenario, and an eyetracker recorded their fixations. As was predicted, deep comprehenders asked better questions and fixated on device components that explained the malfunction. The eye fixations were examined before, during, and after the participants' questions in order to trace the occurrence and timing of convergence on faults, causal reasoning, and other cognitive processes.

Publication Title

Memory & cognition