We access text to help us answer questions, solve problems, and to improve our knowledge and understanding (Graesser and Lehman, 2011). Thus, accessing and reading text is a goal-directed task (Graesser, Singer, and Trabasso, 1994; McCrudden and Schraw, 2007). We may read for an assigned task, such as when a student reads to prepare for a class test or to gather information for an essay (What do starfish eat?). Or, we may read for a self-generated task, such as when we seek information about an impending decision (e.g., how to address a health-related issue or what type of mobile phone is best suited to our needs) or to become informed about a socio-scientific topic (e.g., climate change). What all of these situations have in common is that they involve reading to reduce or eliminate a knowledge gap between what we know currently and what we want to know. When there is a gap between what we know and want to know, some information helps us address this gap better than other information; that is, some information is more relevant than other information for filling this gap.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences(all)