Anne Britt

Research Interests

  • Argument comprehension and production.
  • Reading for a purpose within the disciplines.
  • Learning and reasoning from multiple documents.
  • Integration of semantic information across multiple documents.

Frequently Taught Classes

  • PSYC 245: Thinking
  • PSYC 305: Research Methods
  • PSYC 612: Problem Solving and Reasoning
  • PSYC 614:x Instructional Psychology

Representative Publications


  • Britt, M.A., Rouet, J.-F. and Durik, A.M. (2018). Literacy Beyond Text Comprehension: A Theory of Purposeful Reading. New York: Routledge.
  • Schober, M.F., Rapp, D.N., and Britt, M.A. (Eds.). (2018). Handbook of Discourse Processes2nd edition. New York: Routledge.
  • Britt, M.A., Goldman, S. R., and Rouet, J.-F. (Eds.) (2013). Reading: From Words to Multiple Texts. New York: Routledge. Perfetti, C.A., Britt, M.A., and Georgi, M.C. (1995). Text-based learning and reasoning: Studies in history. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Published Papers and Chapters

  • Saux, G., Britt, M. A., Vibert, N., and Rouet, J. F. (2021). Building mental models from multiple texts: How readers construct coherence from inconsistent sources. Language and Linguistics Compass, 15(3), e12409.
  • Saux, G., Vibert, N., Dampuré, J., Burin, D. I., Britt, M. A., and Rouet, J. F. (2021). From simple agents to information sources: Readers' differential processing of story characters as a function of story consistency. Acta Psychologica, 212, 103191.
  • Rouet, J.F., Saux, G., Ros, C., Stadtler, M., Vibert, N., and Britt, M.A. (2020). Inside document models: The role of source attributes in integrating multiple text contents. Discourse Processes, 58, 60-79.
  • Wiley, J., Griffin. T.D., Steffens, B., and Britt, M.A. (2020). Epistemic beliefs about the value of integrating information across multiple documents in history. Learning and Instruction. 65, 10126.
  • Britt, M.A., Rouet, J.-F., Blaum, D., and Millis, K.K. (2019). A reasoned approach to dealing with fake news. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 6, 94-101.
  • Goldman, S.R., Greenleaf, C., Yukhymenko-Lescroart, M., Brown, W., Ko, M-L, Emig, J.M., George, M.A., Wallace, P., Blaum, D., Britt, M.A., and Project READI (2019). Explanatory modeling in science through text-based investigation: Testing the efficacy of the Project READI intervention approach. American Educational Research Journal, 56, 1148–1216.
  • Maier, J., Britt, M.A., and Richter, T. (2018). Cognitive processes underlying the text-belief consistency effect: An eye-movement study. Applied Cognitive Psychology.
  • Britt, M.A., Rouet, -F, and Durik, A.M. (2018). Representations and processes in multiple source use. In J. L. G. Braasch, I. Bråten, and M. T. McCrudden (Eds.), The Handbook of Multiple Source Use (pp. 17-33). New York: Routledge.
  • Rouet, J.-F., Britt, M.A., and Durik, A. (2017). RESOLV: Readers' representation of reading. contexts and tasks. Educational Psychologist, 52, 200-215.
  • Greiff, S., Scheiter, K., Scherer, R., Borgonovi, F., Britt, M.A., Graesser, A., Kitajima, M., Rouet, J.-F. (2017). Adaptive problem solving: Moving towards a new assessment domain in the second cycle of PIAAC. OECD Education Working Papers, No. 156, OECD Publishing, Paris.
  • Wiley, J., Hastings, P., Blaum, D., Jaeger, A.J., Hughes, S., Wallace, P., Griffin, T.D., and Britt, M.A. (2017). Different approaches to assessing the quality of explanations following a multiple-document inquiry activity in science. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 27, 758-790.
  • Saux, G., Britt, M.A., Le Bigot, L., Vibert, N., Burin, D., and Rouet, J.-F. (2017). Conflicting but close: Readers' integration of information sources as a function of their disagreement. Memory and Cognition, 45, 151-167.
  • Goldman, S.R., Britt, M.A., Brown, W., Cribb, G., George, M.A., Greenleaf, C., Lee, C.D., Shanahan, C., and Project READI. (2016). Disciplinary literacies and learning to read for understanding: a conceptual framework of core processes and constructs. Educational Psychologist, 51, 219-246. Received the Literacy Research Association Arthur Applebee Award for Excellence in Research on Literacy.
  • Rouet, J.-F., Le Bigot, L., de Pereyra, G. and Britt, M.A. (2016). Whose story is this? Discrepancy triggers readers' attention to source information in short narratives. Reading and Writing, 29, 1549–1570.
  • Britt, M. A., Kopp, K., Durik, A.M., Blaum, D., and Hastings, P. (2016). Identifying general cognitive abilities involved in argument comprehension and evaluation. Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie, 30, 79-95.

Representative Grants

  • Collaborative research: Developing a generalized storyline that organizes the supports for evidence-based modeling of long-term impacts of disturbances (July 2018 – June 2022) from National Science Foundation. PI: McGee, S., CoPI's: Durik, A.M., and Britt, M.A. Awarded $2,748,854 (NIU Subaward: $416,647).
  • Teachers Learning to Facilitate Communication and Reasoning Through Inquiry with History and Social Science Sources (January 2018 – December 2021) from the James S. McDonnell Foundation. PI: Monte-Sano, C., CoPI's: Schleppegrell, M., Britt, A., Durik, A., Alston, C., and Wei, R. C, Kabat, J., and Wade, K., Vazquez, G., Dickinson-Kelley, L. A., and Thomson, S. Awarded $2,000,000 (NIU Subaward: $161,000).
  • Reading for Understanding Across Grades 6 through 12: Evidence-based Argumentation for Disciplinary Learning (2010-2015) from the U.S. Department of Education. PI: Susan R. Goldman, Co-PI's: M. Anne Britt (Northern Illinois University), Carol Lee (Northwestern University), Cynthia Greenleaf (WestEd), Matt Brown (Inquirium LLC). Awarded $19.2 million (NIU Subaward: $2,416,211).


Professor, Cognitive and Instructional Psychology
Board of Trustee Professor
Presidential Research Professor
Distinguished Teaching Professor
Director, Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language and Literacy (CISLL)
PM 367

Vita (.doc)


Ph.D. Cognitive Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Learning Research and Development Center