Mind wandering and reading comprehension in secondary school children

Soemer, A., Idsardi, H., Minnaert, A. & Schiefele, U., Oct-2019, In : Learning and Individual Differences. 75, 11 p., 101778.

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  • Mind wandering and reading comprehension in secondary school children

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This study investigated predictors of mind wandering during reading and their effects on comprehension in a sample of secondary school children. One hundred and twenty-five eighth-graders read either an easy, moderately
difficult, or difficult version of an expository text and subsequently answered a number of comprehension questions. Students were asked about their thoughts during reading, their propensity to mind wander in various life situations, as well as their interest in the topics of the text. Overall, the results were consistent with the general mind wandering literature: More difficult texts were associated with lower topic interest, more mind wandering during reading, and worse comprehension. Topic interest was negatively related to mind wandering
during reading. Furthermore, the propensity to mind wander in daily life had both a positive effect and a negative effect on comprehension, the latter being mediated by mind wandering during reading. Based on these results, it is argued that mind wandering may benefit school children's reading comprehension if it is applied in appropriate situations and for activities that promote comprehension.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101778
Number of pages11
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Early online date11-Sep-2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2019


  • Mind wandering, Reading comprehension, Interest, Text difficulty, Secondary Education, TEXT DIFFICULTY, TOPIC INTEREST, MOTIVATION, ENGAGEMENT, ATTENTION, KNOWLEDGE, THOUGHT

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