1993．第8卷（Vol. 8）．pp. 1218
This study examines the effects of contextual signals in text processing on the basis of the 'selective attention' hypothesis. Four passages were adopted as reading materials. Contextual signals were added to the texts, specifying the theme sentences. Texts with signals attached to the theme sentences were thought of 'correct texts'. Those with signals attached to the unimportant sentences were 'misplaced texts'. Versions of Chinese and English texts were made available. Participating in the study were 42 and 38 first-year students from the Chinese and English Department respectively. Subjects read sentence by sentence from the computer screen and their reaction time was recorded. MANOVA was used with text version (Chinese vs. English) and contextual signal (correct vs. misplaced) as between-subjects factors. Longer reaction time was found from English rather than Chinese text version, and from signaled rather than non-signaled sentences, regardless of the signals being rightly placed or misplaced in texts. These findings indicate that contextual signals affect the attention levels during text processing.