chapter  Chapter Three
15 Pages

Who Is This “I” Person, Anyway? The Presence of a Visible Author in Statistical Text

WithSusan Bobbitt Nolen, Nia Johnson-Crowley, Samuel S. Wineburg

Considerable research has explored ways to design expository texts that are cognitively “consid erate”—that is, which facilitate understanding, learning, and remembering. Women reading the Gould text were more likely to form a clear image of the author and to interact with the author during reading than were women reading the more formal Glass and Hopkins text. Vsible author is not only a potential ally, but equally a potential target for blame when comprehension is difficult. This chapter looks at the women who read the passage from Gould. The cases of two women, Mary and Karen, nicely illustrate the range of readers’ responses to a visible author. Although the two shared many entering characteristics, their beliefs about the author, and their interactions with him, were quite different. The presence of a visible author creates additional variance in readers’ responses to textbooks.