Edward J. O'Brien, Anne E. Cook, Robert F. Lorch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript


Research in the area of reading comprehension has made enormous progress during the last thirty or more years. There are numerous books, research articles, and journals devoted solely to work done on increasing our understanding of the comprehension process. Because reading comprehension is so complex, even today, there are no models of the complete process; instead, models are designed to address various subcomponents of the complete comprehension process. Perhaps one of the most important processes necessary for successful comprehension during reading is that of inferencing. Over the last twenty-five years, research on inference generation during reading has advanced to the point that it has become a relatively “mature” area. We know a great deal about this critical comprehension process. In fact, across disciplines (e.g., education, psychology) and perspectives, there has been a good deal of convergence in terms of theoretical accounts and understanding of both the reader and text characteristics that promote the types of inferential processes that facilitate comprehension. Despite this high level of convergence, there is no centralized resource that captures it. Our goal was to bring together a set of chapters that capture this convergence while also providing a unified resource for interested readers who want to learn about the current state of the field's understanding of the inference process. The present book contains chapters by many distinguished researchers on topics central to our understanding of the inferential process during reading. These chapters cover aspects of inferencing that range from the fundamental bottom-up processes that form the basis for an inference to occur to the more strategic processes that occur when a reader is engaged in literary understanding of a text. Within this range, a wide variety of topics are covered that include basic activation mechanisms, word-level inferencing, methodological considerations, inference validation, causal inferencing, emotion, development of inference processes as a skill, embodiment, contributions from neuroscience, as well as applications to naturalistic, expository text, online learning materials, and literary immersion.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWriting Religion
Subtitle of host publicationThe Case for the Critical Study of Religions
ISBN (Electronic)9781107279186
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2015.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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