Faculty Articles

Title

The Impact of Reading at Rapid Rates on Inference Generation

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-2018

Keywords

inference generation, reading literacy, reading speed

Publication Title

Journal of Research in Reading

ISSN

1467-9817

Volume

41

Issue/No.

3

Abstract

Aims

Speed reading is advertised as a way to increase reading speed without any loss in comprehension. However, research on speed reading has indicated that comprehension suffers as reading speed increases. We were specifically interested in how processes of inference generation were affected by speed reading.

Methods

We examined how reading speed influenced inference generation in typical readers, trained speed readers and participants trained to skim read passages. Passages either strongly or weakly promoted a bridging or predictive inference. After reading, participants performed a lexical decision task on either a nonword, neutral or inference‐related word.

Results

Typical readers responded to strong and weak inference words faster than neutral words. There were no statistical differences in reaction time between inference‐related and neutral words for speed and skim readers.

Conclusions

These findings provide no substantive evidence that the appropriate inferences are generated when reading at rapid speeds. Thus, speed reading may be detrimental to normal integrative comprehension processes.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9817.12125

Peer Reviewed

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