Jennifer Wiley

University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States

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Publications (61)60.22 Total impact

  • Christopher A. Sanchez, Jennifer Wiley
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    ABSTRACT: The current experiment investigated the effects of a dynamic spatial ability on comprehension of a geoscience text on plate tectonics and the causes of volcanic activity. 162 undergraduates (54% female) from a large public university who had little prior knowledge of this science content area were asked to learn about plate tectonics. Measures of spatial ability and working memory capacity were used to predict comprehension from a text that contained either no images, static images, or animated versions of the static images. Only the dynamic spatial ability measure interacted with the type of illustrations contained in the text, and was shown to be especially relevant for comprehension when readers did not receive animations. These results demonstrate a novel influence of individual differences in dynamic spatial ability on comprehension of text describing dynamic spatial phenomena.
    Learning and Instruction 06/2014; 31:33–45. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    Allison J. Jaeger, Jennifer Wiley
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    ABSTRACT: The present research examined the effect of illustrations on readers' metacomprehension accuracy for expository science text. In two experiments, students read non-illustrated texts, or the same texts illustrated with either conceptual or decorative images; were asked to judge how well they understood each text; and then took tests for each topic. Metacomprehension accuracy was computed as the intra-individual correlation between judgments and inference test performance. Results from both studies showed that the presence of decorative images can lead to poor metacomprehension accuracy. In the second study, an analysis of the cues that students reported using to make their judgments revealed that students who used comprehension-relevant cues showed more accurate metacomprehension. A self-explanation instruction did not alter either comprehension-relevant cue use or metacomprehension accuracy, although some advantages were seen when readers were prompted to self-explain from texts illustrated with conceptual images. These results suggest that students may need more explicit instruction or support to promote the use of valid cues when engaging in comprehension monitoring with illustrated text, and that seductive information such as decorative images may undermine comprehension monitoring.
    Learning and Instruction 01/2014; 34:58–73. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • Benjamin D Jee, Jennifer Wiley
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Previous research on category learning has found that classification tasks produce representations that are skewed toward diagnostic feature dimensions, whereas feature inference tasks lead to richer representations of within-category structure (e.g., Markman & Ross, 2003; Sakamoto & Love, 2010). Yet, prior studies often measure category knowledge through tasks that involve identifying only the typical features of a category. This neglects an important aspect of a category's internal structure: how typical and atypical features are distributed within a category. The present experiments tested the hypothesis that inference learning results in richer knowledge of internal category structure than classification learning. We introduced several new measures to probe learners' representations of within-category structure. Experiment 1 found that participants in the inference condition learned and used a wider range of feature dimensions than classification learners. Classification learners, however, were more sensitive to the presence of atypical features within categories. Experiment 2 provided converging evidence that classification learners were more likely to incorporate atypical features into their representations. Inference learners were less likely to encode atypical category features, even in a "partial inference" condition that focused learners' attention on the feature dimensions relevant to classification. Overall, these results are contrary to the hypothesis that inference learning produces superior knowledge of within-category structure. Although inference learning promoted representations that included a broad range of category-typical features, classification learning promoted greater sensitivity to the distribution of typical and atypical features within categories.
    Quarterly journal of experimental psychology (2006) 12/2013; · 1.82 Impact Factor
  • Gregory J H Colflesh, Jennifer Wiley
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    ABSTRACT: Alcohol use has long been assumed to alter cognition via attentional processes. To better understand the cognitive consequences of intoxication, the present study tested the effects of moderate intoxication (average BAC between .071 and .082) on attentional processing using complex working memory capacity (WMC) span tasks and a change blindness task. Intoxicated and sober participants were matched on baseline WMC performance, and intoxication significantly decreased performance on the complex span tasks. Surprisingly, intoxication improved performance on the change blindness task. The results are interpreted as evidence that intoxication decreases attentional control, causing either a shift towards more passive processing and/or a more diffuse attentional state. This may result in decreased performance on tasks where attentional control or focus are required, but may actually facilitate performance in some contexts.
    Consciousness and Cognition 01/2013; 22(1):231-236. · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Three experiments examined conceptual change from reading refutational texts and how such learning interacted with prior knowledge organization. Prior to reading, 3 groups of learners were identified on the basis of their prior knowledge of the targeted concept: 2 groups held misconceptions; 1 group was generally accurate. Experiment 1 tested learning from a text that contrasted a misconception and the correct conception of the phenomenon of airflow against learning from a text that repeated the correct scientific description twice. The 2 reader groups learned from both types of texts about equally. Experiment 2 contrasted a more traditional refutational text to the “repetition” text. Learning was better with the refutational than the repetition text for both misconception groups on both measures. Experiment 3 demonstrated that learners who held largely accurate conceptions prior to reading texts that presented misconceptions preserved their largely accurate performance. Overall, the results suggest that the inclusion of an explicit refutation of the misconception is critical for instigating knowledge revision when readers possess inaccurate prior conceptions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)
    Journal of Educational Psychology. 01/2013; 105(3):561.
  • Reading Research Quarterly 10/2012; 47(4). · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    Jennifer Wiley, Andrew F. Jarosz
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    ABSTRACT: Attentional focus is important for many cognitive processes, including problem solving. In this article, we discuss working memory capacity (WMC), a construct related to the ability to focus attention, and its differential effects on analytic and creative problem solving. One of the main ways in which WMC benefits analytic problem solving seems to be that it helps problem solvers to control their attention, resist distraction, and narrow their search through a problem space. Conversely, several lines of recent evidence have shown that too much focus can actually harm performance on creative problem-solving tasks.
    Current Directions in Psychological Science 08/2012; 21(4):258-262. · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two experiments explored concept map construction as a useful intervention to improve metacomprehension accuracy among 7th grade students. In the first experiment, metacomprehension was marginally better for a concept mapping group than for a rereading group. In the second experiment, metacomprehension accuracy was significantly greater for a concept mapping group than for a control group—a group of students who were given already constructed concept maps had accuracy between these two groups. In both experiments, control groups had poor metacomprehension accuracy. That is, they performed worse on tests they predicted better performance and performed better on tests they predicted worse performance. Although constructing concept maps did not produce the same high level of accurate monitoring previously reported in the literature, it still reduced the illusion of knowing.
    Learning and Instruction - LEARN INSTR. 08/2012;
  • Ivan K. Ash, Benjamin D. Jee, Jennifer Wiley
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    ABSTRACT: Gestalt psychologists proposed two distinct learning mechanisms. Associative learning occurs gradually through the repeated co-occurrence of external stimuli or memories. Insight learning occurs suddenly when people discover new relationships within their prior knowledge as a result of reasoning or problem solving processes that re-organize or restructure that knowledge. While there has been a considerable amount of research on the type of problem solving processes described by the Gestalt psychologists, less has focused on the learning that results from these processes. This paper begins with a historical review of the Gestalt theory of insight learning. Next, the core assumptions of Gestalt insight learning theory are empirically tested with a study that investigated the relationships among problem difficulty, impasse, initial problem representations, and resolution effects. Finally, Gestalt insight learning theory is discussed in relation to modern information processing theories of comprehension and memory formation.
    The Journal of Problem Solving. 05/2012; 4(2).
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    ABSTRACT: There is a general assumption that a more controlled or more focused attentional state is beneficial for most cognitive tasks. However, there has been a growing realization that creative problem solving tasks, such as the Remote Associates Task (RAT), may benefit from a less controlled solution approach. To test this hypothesis, in a 2x2 design, we manipulated whether solvers were given the RAT before or after an implicit learning task. We also varied whether they were told to “use their gut” as part of either initial task. The results suggest that a less analytic approach engendered by a “use your gut” instruction benefits performance on the RAT for monolingual solvers. The same benefit was not found for bilingual speakers suggesting that more controlled solution processes may be needed when speakers with multiple lexicons perform this task, which relies heavily on accessing common phrases in a particular language.
    The Journal of Problem Solving. 05/2012; 4(2).
  • Patrick J Cushen, Jennifer Wiley
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    ABSTRACT: While the subjective experience of insight during problem solving is a common occurrence, an understanding of the processes leading to solution remains relatively uncertain. The goal of this study was to investigate the restructuring patterns underlying solution of a creative problem, and how providing cues to solution may alter the process. Results show that both providing cues to solution and analyzing problem solving performance on an aggregate level may result in restructuring patterns that appear incremental. Analysis of performance on an individual level provides evidence for insight-like solution patterns. However, no evidence is found for a relationship between an individual's restructuring pattern and their subjective experience of insight during problem solving.
    Consciousness and Cognition 04/2012; 21(3):1166-75. · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: That alcohol provides a benefit to creative processes has long been assumed by popular culture, but to date has not been tested. The current experiment tested the effects of moderate alcohol intoxication on a common creative problem solving task, the Remote Associates Test (RAT). Individuals were brought to a blood alcohol content of approximately .075, and, after reaching peak intoxication, completed a battery of RAT items. Intoxicated individuals solved more RAT items, in less time, and were more likely to perceive their solutions as the result of a sudden insight. Results are interpreted from an attentional control perspective.
    Consciousness and Cognition 03/2012; 21(1):487-93. · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We explored whether exposure to different kinds of comprehension tests during elementary years influenced metacomprehension accuracy among 7th and 8th graders. This research was conducted in a kindergarten through 8th grade charter school with an expeditionary learning curriculum. In literacy instruction, teachers emphasize reading for meaning and inference building, and they regularly assess deep comprehension with summarization, discussion, dialogic reasoning, and prediction activities throughout the elementary years. The school recently expanded, doubling enrollments in 7th and 8th grades. Thus, approximately half of the students had long-term exposure to the curriculum and the other half did not. In Study 1, metacomprehension accuracy measured with the standard relative accuracy paradigm was significantly better for long-time students than for newcomers. In Study 2, all students engaged in delayed-keyword generation before judging their comprehension of texts. Metacomprehension accuracy was again significantly better for long-time students than for newcomers. Further, the superior monitoring accuracy led to more effective regulation of study, as seen in better decisions about which texts to restudy, which led, in turn, to better comprehension. The results suggest the importance of early exposure to comprehension tests for developing skills in comprehension monitoring and self-regulated learning.
    Journal of Educational Psychology - J EDUC PSYCHOL. 01/2012; 104(3):554-564.
  • Andrew F. Jarosz, Jennifer Wiley
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    ABSTRACT: Current theories concerning individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) suggest that WMC reflects the ability to control the focus of attention and resist interference and distraction. The current set of experiments tested whether susceptibility to distraction is partially responsible for the established relationship between performance on complex span tasks and the Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (RAPM). This hypothesis was examined by manipulating the level of distraction among the incorrect responses contained in RAPM problems, by varying whether the response bank included the most commonly selected incorrect response. When entered hierarchically into a regression predicting a composite score on span tasks, items with highly distracting incorrect answers significantly improved the predictive power of a model predicting an individual's WMC, compared to the model containing only items with less distracting incorrect responses. Additional analyses were performed examining the types of errors that were made. A second experiment used eye-tracking to demonstrate that these effects seem to be rooted in differences in susceptibility to distraction as well as strategy differences between high and low WMC individuals. Results are discussed in terms of current theories about the role of attentional control in performance on general fluid intelligence tasks.
    Intelligence. 01/2012; 40(5):427–438.
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    ABSTRACT: Students learned how to solve binomial probability problems from either a procedurally based lesson or a conceptually based lesson and then worked in distributed pairs by using a computer-based chat environment. Cognitively homogeneous dyads (i.e. both members received the same lesson) performed more accurately on standard problems, whereas cognitively diverse dyads (i.e. each member received a different lesson) performed more accurately on transfer problems. The cognitively homogeneous dyads perceived a greater sense of common ground with their partner, but spent a greater proportion of their time communicating about low-level details (e.g. message verification) whereas the cognitively diverse dyads spent a greater proportion of their time on high-level discussion (e.g. solution development). Results help to clarify that common training leads to more positive perceptions of collaboration, but only improves performance on problems that are highly similar to those experienced during training, whereas diverse training improves the ability of a dyad to perform well in new situations. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Applied Cognitive Psychology 11/2011; · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    Keith W Thiede, Jennifer Wiley, Thomas D Griffin
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    ABSTRACT: Theory suggests that the accuracy of metacognitive monitoring is affected by the cues used to judge learning. Researchers have improved monitoring accuracy by directing attention to more appropriate cues; however, this is the first study to more directly point students to more appropriate cues using instructions regarding tests and practice tests. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether the accuracy metacognitive monitoring was affected by the nature of the test expected. Students (N= 59) were randomly assigned to one of two test expectancy groups (memory vs. inference). Then after reading texts, judging learning, completed both memory and inference tests. Test performance and monitoring accuracy were superior when students received the kind of test they had been led to expect rather than the unexpected test. Tests influence students' perceptions of what constitutes learning. Our findings suggest that this could affect how students prepare for tests and how they monitoring their own learning.
    British Journal of Educational Psychology 06/2011; 81(Pt 2):264-73. · 1.42 Impact Factor
  • Patrick J. Cushen, Jennifer Wiley
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    ABSTRACT: What makes a person able to solve problems creatively? One interesting factor that may contribute is experience with multiple languages from an early age. Bilingual individuals who acquire two languages by the age of 6 have been shown to demonstrate superior performance on a number of thinking tasks that require flexibility. However, bilingual advantages have yet to be identified particularly on insight problems that are used as a model of creative problem solving following initial impasse. As such, the goal of the present study was to investigate the influence of language experience on problem solving performance on a matched set of insight and non-insight problems. Results demonstrate an interaction between type of problem (insight versus non-insight) and language status.Research highlights►Bilinguals can show advantages on creative problem solving tasks. ►Early bilinguals show advantages in many tasks that require cognitive flexibility. ►Advantages of bilingualism were seen on a set of insight and non-insight problems. ►Results suggest an interaction between type of problem and bilingual status.
    Learning and Individual Differences 01/2011; 21(4):458-462. · 1.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract: Previous research has suggested that reader goals can affect how well learners develop understanding of complex texts, specifically in science. This chapter discusses the role of students' goals and strategies in acquiring scientific knowledge from multiple expository sources, and supplements previous findings with novel eye-tracking and web navigation analyses to provide greater insight into how different learners use goal and source information to guide their reading strategies. Finally, we discuss the potential importance of training students to apply appropriate reading strategies when learning from expository texts, and the subsequent benefits of teaching students to think critically about information from different sources when reading to understand.
    Text relevance and learning from text, Edited by Matthew T. McCrudden, Joseph P. Magliano, Gregory Schraw, 01/2011: chapter 15: pages 353-374; Information Age Publishing., ISBN: 978-1-61735-529-5
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    ABSTRACT: The correlation between individual differences in working memory capacity and performance on the Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (RAPM) is well documented yet poorly understood. The present work proposes a new explanation: that the need to use a new combination of rules on RAPM problems drives the relation between performance and working memory capacity scores. Evidence for this account is supported by an item-based analysis of performance during standard administration of the RAPM and an experiment that manipulates the need to use new rule combinations across 2 subsets of RAPM items. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Experimental Psychology Learning Memory and Cognition 01/2011; 37(1):256-63. · 3.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In consecutive years, a fifth grade teacher of a self-contained classroom enacted five-week Earth sciences units that included learning activities focusing on the interpretation of seismograms and the location of earthquake epicenters. In one class, the unit utilized an embedded design that situated learners within the spatial and temporal extent of the phenomenon during the epicenter determination activities. In the other class, while the activity set remained the same, the embedding features were removed. Students in the embedded condition demonstrated greater learning gains than their non-embedded counterparts in prepost assessments of student skill, declarative knowledge, and conceptual understandings, even among topics unrelated to the determination of epicenters. Post-activity student interviews evidenced strong preference for the immersive, asynchronous, and temporal staging components of the embedded condition.
    Learning in the Disciplines: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS '10, Chicago, IL, USA, June 29 - July 2, 2010, Volume 1; 01/2010

Publication Stats

505 Citations
60.22 Total Impact Points


  • 2001–2014
    • University of Illinois at Chicago
      • • Department of Psychology
      • • Department of Educational Psychology
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2013
    • College of the Holy Cross
      Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2009
    • Arizona State University
      Phoenix, Arizona, United States
  • 2006
    • Old Dominion University
      • Department of Psychology
      Norfolk, VA, United States
  • 2000
    • Washington State University
      Pullman, Washington, United States