Skip to main content

Robert Lorch

Research Interests:
Text processing
Elementary science instruction

My research is in two different areas.  For a long time, I have conducted research on text processing, particularly processing of expository material (i.e., textbook material) by adults. I am interested both in the processes underlying the comprehension of text as a person reads, and the processes by which a reader retrieves text information after reading.  More recently, I have been doing research in elementary schools on science instruction.  That research aims to design instructional interventions that are effective at teaching the logic and process of experimentation.  It involves both lab-based and classroom-based research.


Professional Affiliations:

  • American Educational Research Association
  • American Psychological Society
  • Fulbright Society
  • Society for Text and Discourse
Graduate Training

Ph.D. Univ. of Massachusetts, 1980

Selected Publications:

·  Lorch, R.F., Jr., Lorch, E.P., Calderhead, W.J., Dunlap, E.E., Hodell, E.C., Freer, B.D. (in press).  Learning the control of variables strategy in higher- and lower-achieving classrooms: Contributions of explicit instruction and experimentation.  Journal of Educational Psychology.

·  Lemarié, J., Lorch, R.F., Jr., Eyrolle, H., Virbel, J. (2008). A text-based and reader-based theory of signaling. Educational Psychologist, 43, 27-48.

·  Hyönä, J., Lorch, R.F., Jr., Kaakinen, J.  (2004).  Effects of topic headings on text processing: Evidence from adult readers’ eye fixation patterns.  Learning and Instruction, 14, 131-152.

·  Hyönä, J., Lorch, R.F., Jr., Kaakinen, J.  (2002).  Individual differences in reading to summarize expository text:  Evidence from eye fixation patterns.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 44-55.

·  van den Broek, P., Lorch, R.F., Jr., Linderholm, T., Gustafson, M.  (2002).  The effects of readers’ goals on inference generation and memory for text.  Memory Cognition, 29, 1081-1087.