Events Calendar

16 Sep
Cathedral
Event Type

Lectures, Symposia, Etc.

Target Audience

Faculty, Graduate Students

University Unit
Department of Psychology
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Cognitive Brown Bag: Kole Norberg, Graduate Student, Psychology

Cohesion Increases the “Grade Level” of a Health Text But Improves Comprehension

 

Abstract:

Communication of health-related information is often provided through written text, whether it be from web searches (e.g., Web-MD) or at the doctor’s office (e.g., brochures).  The high rates of morbidity found among populations with low health literacy may be reflective of low comprehension of written health-related materials.  Current measures to ensure written materials are accessible to those with low health literacy often seek to reduce the Flesch-Kincaid “grade level” of the text.  This measure correlates shorter sentences and higher word frequency with a lower “grade level” but it does not consider the cohesiveness of the text (i.e., the explicitness of the relationships among the sentences).  Indeed, the use of shorter sentences in a text can decrease cohesiveness.  We manipulated the cohesiveness and vocabulary difficulty of health texts to determine if the cohesiveness of a text contributed to the comprehension of implicit and explicit concepts as well as an understanding of how to apply the concepts to real-world scenarios. We found that the cohesiveness of a text was an important component for comprehension but that this benefit was qualified by interactions between health and general literacy levels of the participants.   

Dial-In Information

Please contact Graduate Administrator, frs38@pitt.edu, for Zoom link. 

Wednesday, September 16 at 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Virtual Event

Cognitive Brown Bag: Kole Norberg, Graduate Student, Psychology

Cohesion Increases the “Grade Level” of a Health Text But Improves Comprehension

 

Abstract:

Communication of health-related information is often provided through written text, whether it be from web searches (e.g., Web-MD) or at the doctor’s office (e.g., brochures).  The high rates of morbidity found among populations with low health literacy may be reflective of low comprehension of written health-related materials.  Current measures to ensure written materials are accessible to those with low health literacy often seek to reduce the Flesch-Kincaid “grade level” of the text.  This measure correlates shorter sentences and higher word frequency with a lower “grade level” but it does not consider the cohesiveness of the text (i.e., the explicitness of the relationships among the sentences).  Indeed, the use of shorter sentences in a text can decrease cohesiveness.  We manipulated the cohesiveness and vocabulary difficulty of health texts to determine if the cohesiveness of a text contributed to the comprehension of implicit and explicit concepts as well as an understanding of how to apply the concepts to real-world scenarios. We found that the cohesiveness of a text was an important component for comprehension but that this benefit was qualified by interactions between health and general literacy levels of the participants.   

Dial-In Information

Please contact Graduate Administrator, frs38@pitt.edu, for Zoom link. 

Wednesday, September 16 at 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Virtual Event

Target Audience

Faculty, Graduate Students

University Unit
Department of Psychology