“Harmful Effects of Preexisting Inappropriate Highlighting on Reading Comprehension and Metacognitive Accuracy,” Vicki Silvers Gier, David S. Kreiner and Amelia Natz-Gonzalez, Journal of General Psychology, vol. 136, no. 3, 2009, pp. 287–300. Silvers Gier and Kreiner were awarded the 2002 Ig Nobel Prize in literature for their 1997 report “The Effects of Pre-Existing Inappropriate Highlighting on Reading Comprehension.” In this 2009 study [AIR 16:1]:
Previous research has shown that preexisting inappropriate highlighting of text could impair reading comprehension. In addition to replicating this effect, the authors investigated the impact of preexisting highlighting on measures of metacognition. [The test subjects were] randomly assigned to read passages that varied by type of highlighting (none, appropriate, or inappropriate) and text difficulty (low vs. high)…. Inappropriate highlighting appeared to impair text comprehension and metacognitive accuracy.