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13 votes

Why does the brain skip over repeated "the" words in sentences?

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 ...
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  • 19.6k
9 votes
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Is there a name for reading things how you meant to write them?

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 ...
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9 votes
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Do the deaf read faster?

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 ...
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8 votes

Omitting word(s) when typing

In his 2003 psycholinguistics book, John Field has summarized (pp. 70-72) his own typing errors and combined them with an older corpus of Hotopf. Missing words were among the frequent errors, but alas ...
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  • 9,915
7 votes
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Why is it easier to see black text on a white background?

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 ...
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  • 1,125
7 votes
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What does the death of a fictional character mean?

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'...
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6 votes

Why can't we understand text without subvocalizating it?

In japanese language, kanjis are more than phonemes but represent an idea. For instance, both tree and spirit have the same sound (ki) and can be written with the hiragana "letter" き. But when kanjis ...
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5 votes

What is the optimal contrast ratio for best readability?

Short answer Higher contrast increases readability. Background In a series of papers under the umbrella "Psychophysics of Reading" (link is to first paper in the series of five) the authors ...
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5 votes

Is there a limit on the rate at which incoming information can be comprehended?

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 ...
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  • 151
5 votes
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Where in the brain is meaning extracted from visual information?

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 ...
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5 votes
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How does the brain know whether or not it comprehends a novel concept?

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 ...
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  • 2,903
5 votes

What is the scientific support for Einstein's claim about the negative effects of reading too much?

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 ...
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4 votes
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Why does paraphrasing result in failure to obtain the spacing effect?

Short answer Paraphrasing indeed negates the spacing effect observed in learning, because it causes mass repetition to be as effective as spaced repetition. The confusion is that paraphrasing does not ...
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4 votes

What makes a book easier or harder to read?

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 ...
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  • 11.1k
3 votes

Does being read to improve reading speed?

There is no scientific proof that being read at an adult age enhances reading speed. However, slow readers read faster when the format of a document is enhanced. Is your partner more responsive to a ...
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  • 1,274
3 votes

What is the scientific support for Einstein's claim about the negative effects of reading too much?

Einstein might have a fair point of view in this manner. He presumably is pointing out the balance between reading and creative thinking. too much reading causes people to not question critically and ...
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  • 31
2 votes
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Reading words without pronunciation

Your initial intuition, that eliminating subvocalization makes understanding more difficult, seems to be consistent with empirical evidence. Slowiaczek and Clifton (1980) investigated the effect of ...
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2 votes

Is reading from the screen more difficult than reading from paper and how can screen reading be made easier?

In response to the First Question Only: Does research support this observation that reading from paper results in less [eye]strain ...? This study which seemed to be focusing on finding an ...
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2 votes

What does the death of a fictional character mean?

I am not a psychologist. However, I am a writer, so I will try my best. When an author sets out to create a fictional work, he or she aims to immerse the reader in the world, to get the reader to care ...
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  • 21
2 votes

Why is it easier to see black text on a white background?

As Waldemar said, it is has a natural reason. During long evolution the eyes are adopted to acquire information through shadows around the objects, but it works also in reverted mode (light object on ...
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  • 167
2 votes

Is restlessness while studying a psychological phenomenon to address?

The answer depends on the person displaying restlessness. According to DSM-5, written by the American Psychiatric Association (2013) emphasis mine A mental disorder is a syndrome characterized by ...
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  • 11.1k
2 votes
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Why I read by hearing the words?

When I read a book I tend to read the words but to also hear them in my mind Inner Speech is the general name given to this phenomenon,1 although it also goes by imagined speech, silent speech or ...
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  • 577
1 vote
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Why do we need to break down long sentences to understand them?

First off, the difficulty in the specific example given in the question is more a matter of proper writing habits than anything else. The use of parentheses is often discouraged because it disrupts ...
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  • 19.6k
1 vote
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Can reading a non-fiction book with great curiosity account to taking a break?

A lot depends on your definition of what constitutes 'a break'. Many are likely to argue a break involves relaxing, a 'fun' pastime, which in another question on this site has been discussed to be ...
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  • 3,471
1 vote

Does being read to improve reading speed?

I would recommend two solutions. One is that you learn to read for understanding not speed unless it is a fluffy novel. You can read fluff at light speed because there is nothing there to challenge ...
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1 vote

Is reading from the screen more difficult than reading from paper and how can screen reading be made easier?

Question: Are there any techniques to improve reading from screen? Yes! I employ many different "techniques" myself: Temporary on-the-fly changes to websites which I do not frequent. Cut-N-Paste ...
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1 vote

Training for the corpus callosum?

From split brain studies I find it might be possible that the right and left hemisphere differences are caused from reading top down left to right. So perhaps learning a written language that reads ...
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