Shallow processing and attention capture in written and spoken discourse

A.J.S. Sanford, A.J. Sanford, J. Molle, C. Emmott

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    66 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Processing of discourse seems to be far from uniform with much evidence indicating that it can be quite shallow. The question is then what modulates depth of processing? A range of discourse devices exist that we believe may lead to more detailed processing of language input (Attention Capturers), thus serving as modulators of processing enabling some parts of discourse to be processed more than others. We list some of these and describe two in detail. We introduce the text-change procedure in which texts are presented twice in succession with a possible change to a word on the second presentation. By analogy with visual change-blindness, text change provides a method of tracking attention capture and depth of processing in text. In Experiment 1, the effect of italicization in writing was investigated. Italicization led to an increase in change detection. In Experiment 2, we investigated focus-driven word stress in speaking. Once again, focus-driven stress led to increases in change detection. These examples show how word stress increases depth of processing. We discuss the findings in terms of the Granularity account of focus, in which deeper processing is characterized as a more detailed semantic specification.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages109-130
    Number of pages21
    JournalDiscourse Processes
    Volume42
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Fingerprint

    discourse
    Processing
    blindness
    experiment
    speaking
    semantics
    Written Discourse
    Attention Capture
    Spoken Discourse
    Modulators
    language
    evidence
    Experiments
    Semantics
    Specifications
    Discourse
    Word Stress
    Change Detection
    Experiment

    Keywords

    • discourse
    • text-change procedure
    • language processing
    • psychology

    Cite this

    Sanford, A.J.S. ; Sanford, A.J. ; Molle, J. ; Emmott, C. / Shallow processing and attention capture in written and spoken discourse. In: Discourse Processes. 2006 ; Vol. 42, No. 2. pp. 109-130.
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    Sanford, AJS, Sanford, AJ, Molle, J & Emmott, C 2006, 'Shallow processing and attention capture in written and spoken discourse' Discourse Processes, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 109-130. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15326950dp4202_2

    Shallow processing and attention capture in written and spoken discourse. / Sanford, A.J.S.; Sanford, A.J.; Molle, J.; Emmott, C.

    In: Discourse Processes, Vol. 42, No. 2, 2006, p. 109-130.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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