Readers' Monitoring of Time Changes Goal Inferences
K. Inohara, K. Tsunemi, & T. Kusumi
This study examined whether readers' inferences about the protagonists' goals changed according to the descriptions of the time frames of the goals and whether the degree of importance of each goal affected these inference processes. When placed under the same-time frame condition, protagonists had two goals within the same time frame. Under the different-time frame condition, they had two goals in different-time frames. A conflict between the two goals existed only in the same-time frame condition. Participants read stories in which the protagonist refused one of two goals and answered questions about the other goal. Results indicated that readers answered questions faster under the same-time frame than under the different-time frame condition. We found that the degree of goal importance did not affect inference processes. Herein, we contend that goal and time dimensions interact and we discuss the concept of independence among dimensions, as previously assumed by the event-indexing model.

Key words: text comprehension, inference, event-index model, goal, language comprehension