Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Various aspects of individuals’ lives have an impact on their cognitive functioning, which affects the scores that each person obtains during cognitive examination. Long-term conditions such as culture, age and location as well as shorter duration stimuli such as fatigue, familiarity and exercise have been shown to influence the outcome of cognitive testing. The current study examined the effect of critical and casual reading on the immediate verbal comprehension test scores of participants using questions from Graduate Record Examination (GRE) practice booklets. It was predicted that the practice GRE exam scores of the participants who were asked to concentrate on an excerpt to induce critical thinking were expected to be higher than those who were told to simply read through a less rigorous work. The scores of the control group were also expected to be significantly lower than those of the “reading” groups. Though results indicated that this hypothesis could not be supported by the data set, further research concerning the effects of reading in both clinical and nonclinical settings is advised.

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