November 02, 2017
Along with her faculty mentor Jennifer Stiegler-Balfour, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Psychology, student Ellie Leighton (Psychology, ’19) recently presented new research findings at the 2017 New England Psychological Association’s annual conference in Newton, Massachusetts.
The research, titled “The Effects of E-Readers on Generation Z: A Comparison of Expository and Narrative Text Comprehension,” examined the impact of technology on reading comprehension. In comparing expository and narrative passages, the results from the current study showed that skilled- and less-skilled readers’ comprehension levels and reading speed were impacted differently by reading different text types. Specifically, reading times and recall data indicated that skilled readers compensated for difficulties with comprehension by reducing their reading speed when presented with expository passages, whereas less-skilled readers did not adapt their reading strategy, and, thus, their comprehension suffered.
These results suggest that reading on digital mediums may indeed be a reasonable alternative to reading traditional print text; however, it also emphasizes the importance of encouraging reading strategies that are capable of prompting readers to slow down.
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