Do films make you think? [Elektronische Ressource] : inference processes in expository film comprehension / vorgelegt von Maike Tibus

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Do Films Make You Think? – Inference Processes in Expository Film Comprehension Dissertation der Fakultät für Informations- und Kognitionswissenschaften der Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen zur Erlangung des Grades eines Doktors der Naturwissenschaften (Dr. rer. nat.) vorgelegt von Dipl.-Psych. Maike Tibus aus Braunschweig Tübingen 2008 Tag der mündlichen Qualifikation: 05. November 2008 Dekan: Prof. Dr. Oliver Kohlbacher 1. Berichterstatter: Prof. Dr. Stephan Schwan 2. Berichterstatter: Prof. Dr. Dr. Friedrich Hesse In erster Linie kommt es darauf an, verstanden zu werden. Theodor Fontane Danke An dieser Stelle möchte ich den Personen danken, die mich auf dem Weg zu dieser Arbeit unterstützt haben. Mein besonderer Dank gilt den folgenden Personen: Prof. Dr. Stephan Schwan - für die Betreuung dieser Arbeit, insbesondere für Inspiration, Ruhe, Gelassenheit und Vertrauen Prof. Dr. Dr. Friedrich Hesse - für die Übernahme des Zweitgutachtens und sein Engagement für ein wissenschaftlich anregendes Umfeld Prof. Dr. Peter Gerjets – für Dein intensives Mitdenken und -diskutieren Prof. Dr. Danielle McNamara - als transatlantische Diskussionspartnerin mit der Textverstehensbrille Prof. Dr.
Publié le : mardi 1 janvier 2008
Lecture(s) : 40
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Source : TOBIAS-LIB.UB.UNI-TUEBINGEN.DE/VOLLTEXTE/2008/3625/PDF/DISS_TIBUS.PDF
Nombre de pages : 218
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Do Films Make You Think? –
Inference Processes in Expository Film Comprehension


Dissertation
der Fakultät für Informations- und Kognitionswissenschaften
der Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
zur Erlangung des Grades eines
Doktors der Naturwissenschaften
(Dr. rer. nat.)



vorgelegt von
Dipl.-Psych. Maike Tibus
aus Braunschweig



Tübingen
2008























Tag der mündlichen Qualifikation: 05. November 2008
Dekan: Prof. Dr. Oliver Kohlbacher
1. Berichterstatter: Prof. Dr. Stephan Schwan
2. Berichterstatter: Prof. Dr. Dr. Friedrich Hesse










In erster Linie kommt es darauf an, verstanden zu werden.
Theodor Fontane



Danke

An dieser Stelle möchte ich den Personen danken, die mich auf dem Weg zu dieser Arbeit unterstützt haben.
Mein besonderer Dank gilt den folgenden Personen:

Prof. Dr. Stephan Schwan - für die Betreuung dieser Arbeit, insbesondere für Inspiration, Ruhe, Gelassenheit
und Vertrauen

Prof. Dr. Dr. Friedrich Hesse - für die Übernahme des Zweitgutachtens und sein Engagement für ein
wissenschaftlich anregendes Umfeld

Prof. Dr. Peter Gerjets – für Dein intensives Mitdenken und -diskutieren

Prof. Dr. Danielle McNamara - als transatlantische Diskussionspartnerin mit der Textverstehensbrille

Prof. Dr. Rolf Plötzner - als Zweitbetreuer im VGK

den VGK – Mädels, insbesondere Jessica Dehler und Kristin Knipfer – für eine tolle Tübinger Promotionszeit

Sebastian Groteloh - als rettender Anker in sämtlichen technischen Belangen

Eva Brenner, Anke Heier, Martin Merkt, Katharina Nöbels und Sonja Weigand - für die tatkräftige
Unterstützung bei der Durchführung der Experimente

Karin Petropoulos - für Notfallkekse und ein offenes Ohr

den Beteiligten des Virtuellen Graduiertenkollegs der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft “Wissenserwerb
und Wissensaustausch mit neuen Medien” – für den Blick über den eigenen (Dissertations-)Tellerrand

sowie den Mitarbeitern des Instituts für Wissensmedien in Tübingen.

Zu guter letzt danke ich meinen Herzensmenschen – für Eure emotionale Wärme, Eure aufmunternden
Worte, Euer Zuhören und für Eure vielen anderen Gesten der Zuneigung, die mir den nötigen Rückhalt und
Stärke gegeben haben, um diese Arbeit fertig zu stellen.


Contents
1 INTRODUCTION...................................................................................................................................... 1
2 DOES FILM COMPREHENSION EQUAL TEXT COMPREHENSION?.................................................. 4
2.1 Differences between texts and films ......................................................................................................................4
2.2 Similarities between text and film comprehension processes ............................................................................7
3 PRINCIPLES OF TEXT COMPREHENSION......................................................................................... 10
3.1 The Construction-Integration Model.....................................................................................................................11
3.2 Inferences................................................................................................................................................................16
3.3 Coherence and comprehension............................................................................................................................20
4 BRIDGING INFERENCES IN TEXT COMPREHENSION...................................................................... 25
4.1 Causal bridging inferences in narrative texts......................................................................................................26
4.2 Causal bridgiexpository texts...................................................................................................28
4.3 Reasons for the imbalance in inference generation as a function of text genre..............................................31
5 INFERENCES IN FILM COMPREHENSION ......................................................................................... 33
5.1 Empirical studies....................................................................................................................................................33
5.2 Methodological implications..37
6 INFERENCE DETECTION METHODS .................................................................................................. 39
6.1 Online methods.......................39
6.2 Offline methods51
7 SUMMARY AND OVERVIEW OF EXPERIMENTS ............................................................................... 56
8 EXPERIMENT 1: GLOBAL BRIDGING INFERENCES: ARE THEY GENERATED ONLINE IN
EXPOSITORY FILM COMPREHENSION AND HOW DO THEY RELATE TO OFFLINE
COMPREHENSION PERFORMANCE? ................................................................................................ 58
8.1 Hypotheses .............................................................................................................................................................59
8.2 Method......................................60
8.3 Results66
8.4 Discussion...............................73

9 EXPERIMENT 2: LOCAL CAUSAL BRIDGING INFERENCES: ARE THEY GENERATED ONLINE
IN EXPOSITORY FILM COMPREHENSION?....................................................................................... 79
9.1 Hypotheses .............................................................................................................................................................80
9.2 Method......................................80
9.3 Results91
9.4 Discussion...............................94
10 EXPERIMENT 3: LOCAL CAUSAL BRIDGING INFERENCES: HOW DO THEY RELATE TO
OFFLINE COMPREHENSION PERFORMANCE?................................................................................ 99
10.1 Hypotheses ...........................................................................................................................................................100
10.2 Method....................................101
10.3 Results107
10.4 Discussion.............................116
11 GENERAL DISCUSSION..................................................................................................................... 120
11.1 Theoretical considerations...120
11.2 Methodological considerations...........................................................................................................................125
11.3 Practical educational implications......................................................................................................................127
12 SUMMARY........................................................................................................................................... 129
ZUSAMMENFASSUNG.133
LIST OF FIGURES........ 137
LIST OF TABLES.......... 138
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES ........................................................................................................... 140
FILMOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES ............................................................................................................ 155
APPENDIXES ............................................................................................................................................... 157 Introduction
1 Introduction
Moving pictures (films, videos) have come a long way since they were first presented by the Lumière
Brothers in Paris in 1895. Nowadays, they dominate not only the entertainment sector in the form of big
blockbusters, but they are also used for informational purposes. They have entered the internet in the form of
digital video databases (http://www.youtube.com), news video clips (http://www.spiegel.de/video) or
informational political video podcasts (http://www.bundeskanzlerin.de/Webs/BK/DE/Aktuelles/VideoPodcast/
video-podcast.html). As these examples demonstrate, films clearly pursue an informational and educational
purpose beyond their entertaining value. For instance, television, videotapes and films are more frequently
used as instructional media in school than other media such as newspaper or magazine articles, computers
and video cameras (Feierabend & Klingler, 2003). Moreover, informational science shows have now entered
the TV landscape: for example, on Mondays, informational science shows are on from 2:00 pm in the
afternoon until 11:00 pm at night across German television programming (Lehmkuhl, 2007).
Over the years, moving images have learned to speak and have grown into sophisticated forms of
dynamic audiovisual media (e.g., films, digital videos, animations), which allow for a realistic, vivid,
experience-driven way of conveying information to a broad public. A crucial precondition for conveying
information successfully via films is, however, that film viewers elaborate the presented content deeply.
Research on multimedia learning (Mayer, 2001, 2005; Sweller, 1999) suggests that films might lead to
superior learning outcomes as they address different modalities (i.e., visual and auditory) and combine verbal
and pictorial information, leading to an optimal distribution of processing load across memory subsystems.
Contrary, the assumption that films are not elaborated deeply, but rather processed superficially, has
dominated common wisdom (cf., “the film watching couch potato”) as well as educational research (e.g.,
DeFleur, Davenport, Cronin, & DeFleur, 1992; Salomon, 1984; Weidenmann, 1989, 2002). For instance,
educational psychologists in the field of instructional dynamic visualizations (e.g., films, animations) have
argued that the presentation of dynamic audiovisual media may result in a cognitive overload of the learner
and at the same time in suboptimal elaboration processes (e.g., Lowe, 2003, 2004; Tversky, Bauer-Morrison,
& Bétrancourt, 2002) or, on the other hand, that film viewers invest deliberately little mental effort because
they assume that film easily processed (Salomon, 1984). However, the assumption that films are an
ineffective educational medium under all conditions is questionable due to methodological shortcomings of
research on film comprehension as well as due to the current exponential growth of instructional and
informational films in different contexts like school, TV and the internet.
To yield deeper insights with regard to the educational potential of informational films (also called
“expository films” in this dissertation), a more detailed and process-oriented methodological approach to
study elaboration processes in film comprehension is advocated in this dissertation. Up to now, research on
learning from expository film is characterized, first, by a large variability with regards to the materials used
and the measures obtained and, second, by a focus on performance measures instead of process measures.
1Introduction
That is, researchers have inconsistently used different dependent variables (e.g., retention of factual
knowledge, ability to answer different types of inference questions, ability to give coherent summaries).
Additionally, they used different instructional materials such as news (Furnham, de Siena, & Gunter, 2002;
Furnham & Gunter, 1985, 1989; Walma van der Molen, & van der Voort, 1997, 2000), commercials
(Furnham, Benson, & Gunter, 1987; Furnham & Williams, 1987), narrative films (Baggett, 1979; Salomon,
1984), silent films (Salomon, 1984), and expository films from different domains (e.g., Furnham, Gunter, &
Green, 1990). Accordingly, results from different studies can hardly be compared systematically. Moreover,
usually only offline measures of learning and comprehension are obtained subsequently to film processing.
For instance, educational psychologists have often focused on measures of learning outcomes obtained after
the viewing of films (e.g., DeFleur et al., 1992; Salomon, 1984; Wetzel, Radtke, & Stern, 1994) and, as a
second step, drew post-hoc conclusions regarding the elaboration processes that might have taken place
during the film reception process. This method of measuring elaboration processes post-hoc is suboptimal to
draw unequivocal conclusions referring to elaboration processes during film comprehension.
Hence, expository film reception processes have rarely been directly analyzed. As a consequence,
this dissertation aims at developing online measures to investigate elaboration processes during expository
film comprehension at a more fine-grained level. A prototypical type of elaboration processes are inference
processes that are in focus of this thesis. The term inference is originally borrowed from logic, but is used in a
slightly different sense in comprehension research (e.g., Kintsch, 1998). Inferences can broadly be defined as
1information that is not explicitly stated, but that the recipient generated himself to understand the available
information. A type of inference that is crucial for comprehension is that of “bridging inferences”, because
bridging inferences semantically relate the current information with previously stated information (Graesser et
al., 2002) and thus make the discourse coherent (e.g., Fincher-Kiefer & D’Agostino, 2004; Graesser, Millis, &
Zwaan, 1997; Graesser, Singer, & Trabasso, 1994; Kintsch, 1988, 1998; Long, Golding, & Graesser, 1992;
Wiley & Myers, 2003). Therefore, if film viewers generate bridging inferences during expository film reception,
it can be assumed that expository films are elaborated deeply.

In sum, this dissertation aims at investigating
1) Whether expository films are elaborated deeply in terms of whether bridging inferences are
generated during expository film comprehension;
2) Whether the presentation of dynamic pictorial information leads to a cognitive overload of the
comprehender and, therefore, to suboptimal elaboration processes;
3) How inference processes during film reception relate to traditional offline measures of learning
outcomes, such as retention and comprehension;
4) How inference processes during film reception can be measured.


1 For better readability, the masculine form is used in this dissertation, but refers to both masculine and feminine.
2

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