Psychology student Ellie Leighton presents at Eastern Psychological Association annual conference

Ellie Leighton '18
Ellie Leighton '18

April 12, 2018

Along with her faculty mentor, Jennifer Stiegler-Balfour, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Psychology, student Ellie Leighton (Psychology, ’18) recently presented at the 2018 annual conference of the Eastern Psychological Association (EPA), held in Philadelphia.

The research presented examined the impact of technology on reading comprehension. Research that has examined electronic reading has revealed that there is an effect of reading skill level on comprehension; however, the literature has yet to examine the effect of text type on electronic devices.

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 effective reading can occur among different text types but that it may require the reader to adjust his or her reading strategy when reading on a digital device.

Leighton was awarded a competitive Psi Chi Regional Travel Grant due to her outstanding abstract submission to EPA and her Psi Chi membership.

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