Revealing the implications of reading strategy for reading behaviour and comprehension

Accurate comprehension of text is vital in everyday life, ranging from educational and professional contexts to social and leisure activities. Our reading goals are affected by factors such as time pressures and the quantity of text available to us, such that often we skim rather than read everything carefully. Now that so much textual information is available on our electronic devices, quantities of text and time constraints are likely affecting our reading goals more than ever before.

However skim reading is detrimental for comprehension, for example, resulting in failure to identify all words within the text and limiting integration of new information with previous text and existing knowledge. In educational contexts students may fail to grasp and remember key concepts. In professional contexts readers may have limited time to process new information before making key decisions. Our project uses eye-movement recording methods to reveal how reading goals modulate the mechanisms underlying reading, with implications for how reading goals affect comprehension.

The project is funded by the UKRI Economic and Social Research Council (ES/R005567/1).

Economic and Social Research Council