Family, Home, and Social Sciences
First Faculty Advisor
Dr. Steven Luke
First Faculty Reader
Dr. David Eddington
Dr. Rebekka Matheson
Psycholinguistics, Eye Tracking, Linguistic Processing, Distraction
This thesis examines the impact of repeated auditory and task-oriented distractors on linguistic processing. Impact was measured through eye tracking software recording first fixation duration, gaze duration, and total time spent on distractor words. This study found consistent significant difference only in the total time category, suggesting that the processing stage most impacted by distraction is global context—our awareness of how a word fits in to the paragraph at large. Participants were skilled at regaining reading speed after distraction, showing no overall impairment for other processing levels. This phenomenon could be dangerous for student comprehension, as reading speed will be maintained and the word and placement will feel familiar but the point of the reading they have done, understanding of context and concepts, will have been lost.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Hillam, Katrina, ""Where Was I?": Linguistic Reprocessing in Distracted Reading" (2019). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 66.