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14

I can speak to this question somewhat from a cognitive psychology standpoint. We memory researchers would think of text highlighting like this in terms of distinctiveness. (An article by McDaniel and Bugg (2008) may shed some light.) Simply put, highlighting a word in a different color than the rest of the text draws what we call item-specific processing ...


13

This answer is a bit more anecdotal, but perhaps it's useful. From the perspective of an academic researcher (which perhaps is similar to Einstein's perspective), there is a balance between reading the literature and conducting your own research. There is a balance between learning new skills and applying those skills to your own projects. Even within the ...


12

Using the English language, given two sentences that say the same thing, what makes one more readable than the other? Usually terseness while retaining clarity and removing ambiguity. The exact same things make code more readable. Remove everything that doesn't add anything, but don't remove things that do add information. And avoid ambiguity. In code, we ...


11

There's a general discussion of speed reading methods on Wikipedia, but let's look at some specific articles and see what they say about reading speed and comprehension. Bell's review of the reading speed and comprehension literature In Bell's (2001) review of the empirical literature, he makes a number of points, which seem reasonable to me: A few ...


11

I've studied this a little bit within the context of timing responses to personality test items. General models of reading speed look at both the time to read the words as well as to comprehend. From memory, eye tracking studies have shown how the eyes will often back track to confusing parts of a sentence (apologies for lack of reference). Some general ...


11

It's been known that Increased Corpus Callosum size was found in musicians who began music training before age 7 and that Training working memory leads to growth in Corpus Callosum. As for how to train working memory, that's a diverse subject. There have been a lot of experiments involving Training working memory for ADHD patients, however a meta-analysis ...


9

There doesn't seem to be much research on this, but based on my review of the research it appears that deaf people are generally slower readers than non-deaf readers - but that this may be affected by age. Essentially they may start as slower readers but become faster readers when they are older. See the evidence I found below: Conrad, Richard. "The reading ...


9

A study by Rainer et al. (2011) has shown that words are skipped and apparently filled in mentally quite often (in the order of 8 to 30% of times). Two important factors that increased skipping rates were the length of the word and the predictability of the word due to contextual constraints. Both cases apply on the word 'the', because it is short and ...


8

Multiple causes of not reading instructions As @crash notes, there are likely many explanations for not reading instructions. It may be motivated by not caring about task performance. And such dispositions may be specific to the particular task or setting, or they might be partially related to some general disposition of the individual in terms of ...


8

Unofficially, it has been called "illusion of expectation" by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, the guys famous for the Invisible Gorilla experiment. Technically it falls under inattentional blindness (or perceptual blindness): ... the event in which an individual fails to recognize an unexpected stimulus that is in plain sight.


7

If you really wanted to know you could use models of reading behaviour - e.g. EZ-Reader or Swift. The Rayner reviews are the classic go-to to outlne this kind of thing: Rayner, K. (2009). Eye movements and attention in reading, scene perception, and visual search. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (2006) (Vol. 62, pp. 1457-506). It will ...


7

This is my current area of research (I'm a Ph.D. student in computer science and cognitive science). Like you said, there are a large number of readability/complexity metrics, but very little research trying to quantify what makes a piece of code psychologically complex. For more information on qualitative studies and models, I'd highly recommend the 2001 ...


7

There are various reasons why this question is interesting for cognitive science research. Examples: Children's programming is more violent and features more death than adult programming. Children's first exposure to the concept of death is often in fiction. Nonetheless, we know little about the meaning of death of fictional characters to children. ...


6

Research would suggest that reading from (well printed) paper is easier; due to ease of making annotations, navigation and the lower risk of eye strain that can be caused from VDUs. There are ways to minimise potential eye strain on VDUs, due to lighting and positioning. Friendly User Interfaces would ease navigation, and the development of new ...


6

In general, parental involvement/engagement has lots of positive social, emotional, cognitive, and academic effects for a child's development. Some evidence suggests that the positive effects of relatively general factors like improved parent-child relationship, increasing motivation and (positive) expectations, etc., are stronger than the specific benefits ...


6

vand den Bos et al (2002) van den Bos et al (2002) summarises research over various ages. They reported: The reading task was to read in 1 min, as fast and accurately as possible, the unique and unrepeated words of a stan- dardized word-reading test. Results indicate that word-reading speed and naming speeds of colors and pictures continue to ...


6

The short answer is that it is not necessarily easier to read black on white. Contrast is more important in lightness and colour, it just so happens that black and white is the highest contrast. So its no accident that most books are in black and white. There is a plethora of research on perceptual processing which is easily found on google scholar if you ...


5

The two legs upon which speed reading rests, in short, are chunking and seeking. Chunking is reading multiple words at once, while seeking allows you to find those chunks quickly and efficiently. The first exercise below will solve your subvocalization problems, but I recommend doing both in order to read text more effectively. You'll need: A computer with ...


5

The assessment of reading comprehension is not my main area of interest, but some of the many articles on the topic of assessment of reading comprehension may be reflevant. See "measurement of reading comprehension" on Google Scholar (e.g., a couple of the pdfs of reviews here, and here). This entry in the literacy encyclopedia on assessment of reading ...


5

Consider this, communication is more than 50% nonverbal. Studies vary (from 93% nonverbal to 75%) and the actual percentage is difficult to interpret, but it is generally accepted that most of the communication is nonverbal. That being said, a book is only written word and content, whereas a lecture is dynamic, versatile, and incorporates much of the ...


5

Interesting question! A related phenomenon called the illusion of explanatory depth (IOED) suggests that the human cognitive system has a systematic weakness in this kind of evaluation--I believe the classic example is asking people if they know how a helicopter works (most people say yes), and then asking them to explain how a helicopter works (very few ...


5

The short answer is we don't know for sure. Look up "alexia" and "agraphia"; pinpointing the regions of the brain that, if damaged, interfere with reading might give some indication of the cortical regions involved. Visual cortex (back of the brain) is obviously necessary for the general population, but it's clearly possible for blind people to learn to ...


5

This question is open to some amount of opinion as there can be differences due to education level of the person reading the material etc. However, there was a study by the American military in order to make their technical manuals as easy to read as possible. The study was started by Rudolf Flesch with his Reading Ease evaluation, known as the Flesch ...


5

I have tried speed reading myself in the past. From the research papers I have read back then, it seemed like there is no basis or evidence to the claim that with practice, reading speed can increase to more than 600-700 words per minute without any loss of comprehension (Some of the most bizarre claims include 25,000 words per minute. I would have been more ...


4

Not really. There is some evidence showing n-back improves working memory, but it's fairly weak. What you are trying to do is speed-reading, which doesn't work either. Almost all speed reading techniques (suppressing inner voice, reading blocks of text at a time, etc) don't perform any better than skimming. Speed reading methods generally just trade ...


4

Yes, inhibiting sub-vocalization is likely to impair comprehension. Here is the abstract from Slowiaczek & Clifton (1980): Two experiments demonstrated that subvocalization is of value in reading for certain types of meaning. Blocking subvocalization by requiring subjects to count or say “cola-colacola …” aloud impaired their reading comprehension ...


4

My understanding was that at least some sub-vocalisation is a normal part of reading and writing. The wikipedia article on subvocalisation cites several sources supporting that claim. The article also claims that there is no evidence to suggest that speed reading training that involves suppression of sub-vocalisation is effective. There is also evidence that ...


4

Looking at google: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/dyslexia-iq-0923.html I know several dyslexic researchers in computer science and cognitive psychology/neuroscience suffering of big difficulties with spelling for example. I think they that are arguably intelligent despite of the dyslexia ! As for the IQ tests, you should keep in mind that some modules ...


4

I think what Einstein had in mind is that in order to come up with original ideas one must keep a balance between knowledge and creativity, as already stated by Jeromy Anglim. In a paper titled "The Composing Process and the Academic Composing Process" written by Stephen Krashen, Krashen says: Although there is no empirical research on this hypothesis, ...


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