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Eye Movements While Zoning Out During Reading: Implications for Mind Wandering and Metaconsciousness

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Author: DeSoto, Kurt Andrew
Advisor: Ball, Chris (Christopher Thomas)
Committee Members: Vishton, Peter; Schwartz, Noah
Issued Date: 2009-05-08
Subjects: Mind wandering
Zoning out
Eye movements
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/1175
Description: This study analyzes eye movements while zoning out during reading in order to come to more general conclusions about the phenomenon of mind wandering. The eye movements of 15 participants were recorded as they read 300 sentences from a historic psychology text. Participants were prompted intermittently to report whether they were zoning out as they read. Focused participants exhibited shorter forward fixations, longer regressions, and a greater proportion of saccades to regressions than unfocused participants, and individuals aware that they were focused displayed longer saccades than unaware participants. These results indicate that zoning out while reading results in both high and low-level deficits for readers and that zoning out is both frequent and disruptive to the reading process.
Degree: Bachelors of Science in Psychology

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