Comparing comprehension measured by multiple-choice and open-ended questions

Yasuhiro Ozuru, Stephen Briner, Christopher A. Kurby, Danielle McNamara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


This study compared the nature of text comprehension as measured by multiple-choice format and open-ended format questions. Participants read a short text while explaining preselected sentences. After reading the text, participants answered open-ended and multiple-choice versions of the same questions based on their memory of the text content. The results indicated that performance on open-ended questions was correlated with the quality of self-explanations, but performance on multiple-choice questions was correlated with the level of prior knowledge related to the text. These results suggest that open-ended and multiple-choice format questions measure different aspects of comprehension processes. The results are discussed in terms of dual process theories of text comprehension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-227
Number of pages13
JournalCanadian Journal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • learning
  • measurement of comprehension
  • memory
  • reading comprehension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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