Toward a Model of Acquiring Procedures from Text

Authored by: Susan Bovair , David E. Kieras

Handbook of Reading Research

Print publication date:  March  2016
Online publication date:  April  1996

Print ISBN: 9781138834262
eBook ISBN: 9780203447772
Adobe ISBN: 9781136610745


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Understanding how procedures are acquired from text is of both practical and theoretical importance, whether the focus is on the mental processes involved in acquisition, or on how differences in the text affect these processes. From a practical point of view, understanding this process, termed procedure acquisition in this paper, is important because all of us follow procedures from written instructions frequently in our daily lives. We fill out forms, assemble children’s toys, follow recipes, and are given instructions for using everything from frozen lasagna to home computers. In addition, following procedures is typically a part of our jobs. Sticht (1977) found that in the U.S. Navy, 75 percent of the reading on the job was what he called reading to do, where people read in order to carry out some task.

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