In this chapter, we consider how a distinction between experiential consciousness and metaconsciousness can help both to characterize and to explain zoning out during reading. We begin by reviewing two surprisingly scant lines of previous empirical research relevant to zoning out while reading: educational research on comprehension monitoring and cognitive research (both laboratory and clinical) on task-unrelated images and thoughts. Although the findings of both these lines of research have important implications for the phenomenon of zoning out while reading, their oversight in not addressing zoning out directly has gone largely unnoticed. We correct this oversight by describing two recent experiments we conducted to explore the frequency, awareness, and comprehension implications of zoning out while reading. We conclude by considering the implications of our findings for theories of visual ocular motor control associated with reading specifically, and for theoretical conceptualizations of mindless behaviors more generally.
|Title of host publication||Thinking and seeing|
|Subtitle of host publication||visual metacognition in adults and children|
|Editors||D. T. Levin|
|Place of Publication||Cambridge, MA|
|Number of pages||24|
|ISBN (Print)||9780262621816, 0262621819|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|
Schooler, J. W., Reichle, E., & Halpern, D. (2004). Zoning out while reading: evidence for dissociations between experience and metaconsciousness. In D. T. Levin (Ed.), Thinking and seeing: visual metacognition in adults and children (pp. 203-226). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.