Date of Award

Fall 1986

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The purpose of the present research was to investigate the comprehension mismatch experience as it related to students' comprehension goals and testing experiences. In Study 1, subjects reported their reading-related comprehension goals while studying a 3500-word text. A questionnaire was administered assessing comprehension of and interest in the text, frequency of mismatches and general studying behavior. Results of Study 1 indicated that eighty-seven percent of the students surveyed reported moderate to frequent mismatches. Subjects varying in mismatch frequency did not differ significantly with regard to any of the performance measures. The comprehension level quiz items were rated as most appropriate and the application-analysis items as least appropriate using the criteria established by Bloom et al. (1956).

In Study 2, subjects completed a quiz containing either factual or applied questions after reading a text and reporting their comprehension goals. The results from Study 2 indicated that comprehension goals were not significantly related to overall quiz performance. Stepwise multiple regression analyses yielded different sets of predictor variables for each quiz type. Subjects' ratings of their mismatch episodes were not significantly related to text comprehension, reading proficiency or quiz performance. It was observed, however, that low and moderate mismatch subjects were more accurate in estimating their test readiness than high mismatch subjects. Post-quiz evaluations indicated that subjects receiving the applied quiz reported significantly higher mismatch ratings of the testing experience than subjects receiving the factual quiz.

The present findings point to the importance of reader interest, reading proficiency, reader expectations and the type of comprehension measure administered, in examining questions related to reading and testing. Continued investigation of the comprehension mismatch phenomenon appears warranted given the high proportion of students reporting such experiences. Future research on comprehension mismatches might be best directed toward developing profiles of subjects differing in mismatch experiences with particular attention paid to learning styles, testing situations related to mismatching, and previous educational experience.