Written Word Comprehension

Essay by irbazkhanumtCollege, Undergraduate April 2012

download word file, 12 pages 0.0

Downloaded 10 times

Written Word Comprehension � PAGE �1�


Written Word Comprehension

[The Writer's Name]

[The Name of the Institution]


Written Word Comprehension

Comprehension of Words

When we read, it is necessary to recognize the individual words that are printed on the page. There is a very large literature within experimental psychology dealing with the recognition of printed words (Rayner & Pollatsek, 1989). In many cases, researchers studying word recognition are not really interested in reading per se. Rather, printed letters and words are merely a convenient way to study perceptual processes because they represent a stimulus set in which variables such as frequency, visual angle, legibility, and so on, can readily be controlled. As a result of this fact, the relevance of studies of word recognition to understanding the reading process is often questioned. In addition, the particular tasks used to study word recognition are sometimes considered unrelated to what happens during fluent silent reading.

For example, lexical decision, categorization, and naming tasks are typically used to study word-recognition processes, and it can be argued that such tasks are somewhat removed from what happens in normal reading.

Likewise, threshold-identification tasks, in which words are degraded by brief tachistoscopic presentations, seem somewhat unlike normal reading. Despite these criticisms, it is clearly the case that in order to read fluently, individual words must be comprehended. In fact, a considerable amount of the variance in reading rate and how long readers look at individual words is accounted for by variables that also influence simple word recognition tasks (Just & Carpenter, 1980). Hence, it does seem to be the case that understanding how individual words are comprehended is directly related to processes that occur in reading. Lately, there has been considerable interest in this issue (as opposed to the earlier...