Abstract

Recent attention to individual differences in reading behavior has driven new research studies. However, how individual differences are measured could have serious impacts on the conclusions drawn from those research studies. The current study examines the differences in reading behavior along two skill dimensions: reading comprehension and spelling ability. Reading comprehension is frequently included in studies of individual differences in reading ability. Spelling ability has only recently been considered as a measure of reading skill, however, some studies have concluded that it is a more precise measure (Andrews & Bond, 2009). According to the lexical quality hypothesis (Perfetti, 2007), high-skill spellers have strong connections between how a word is spelled and that word’s meaning. This allows them to recognize words more quickly than less-skilled spellers. Therefore, good spellers should spend less time processing words than good readers. Participants in the current study completed both a measure of reading comprehension and a measure of spelling ability. Then participants were asked to read sentences while their eye movements were being tracked. Consistent with previous research, spelling and reading skill were only moderately correlated, r=.30, p

Modified Abstract

Reading comprehension is often used to asses reading skill. However, recent research suggests that spelling may be a better indicator of reading ability (Andrew & Bond, 2009). The lexical quality hypothesis suggests that this is because high-skill spellers have strong representations of a word’s spelling and that the spelling is strongly connected to a word’s meaning (Perfetti, 2007). Therefore, high-skill speller should spend less time processing words than high-skill readers. The current study assessed both reading comprehension and spelling ability. Participants were then asked to read sentences while their eye movements were being tracked. Results show that there was a moderate correlation between reading comprehension and spelling ability, r=.30, p

Research Category

Psychology

Primary Author's Major

Psychology

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Jocelyn R. Folk

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

2017 1:00 PM

Research Area

Cognitive Psychology | Psychology

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Mar 21st, 1:00 PM

Measures Matter: Reading Comprehension may not be the Best Measure of Reading Ability

Recent attention to individual differences in reading behavior has driven new research studies. However, how individual differences are measured could have serious impacts on the conclusions drawn from those research studies. The current study examines the differences in reading behavior along two skill dimensions: reading comprehension and spelling ability. Reading comprehension is frequently included in studies of individual differences in reading ability. Spelling ability has only recently been considered as a measure of reading skill, however, some studies have concluded that it is a more precise measure (Andrews & Bond, 2009). According to the lexical quality hypothesis (Perfetti, 2007), high-skill spellers have strong connections between how a word is spelled and that word’s meaning. This allows them to recognize words more quickly than less-skilled spellers. Therefore, good spellers should spend less time processing words than good readers. Participants in the current study completed both a measure of reading comprehension and a measure of spelling ability. Then participants were asked to read sentences while their eye movements were being tracked. Consistent with previous research, spelling and reading skill were only moderately correlated, r=.30, p