Cognitive Processing and Reading Comprehension

Issues of Theory, Causality, and Individual Differences

Authored by: Ralph E. Reynolds , Byeong-Young Cho , Amy Hutchison

Handbook of Individual Differences in Reading

Print publication date:  September  2015
Online publication date:  August  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415658874
eBook ISBN: 9780203075562
Adobe ISBN: 9781135120931


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The topic of individual differences in reading performance has a long and robust history in the reading literatures of psychology, education, linguistics, and special education. Much of this research concerns how variations in children’s skills in basic reading processes affect overall reading performance. There has been particular focus on research on the cognitive processes that make up word identification (Brady, Braze, & Fowler, 2011). Results from this research show that proficient readers tend to be fast and accurate at the process of word identification. Over time, more proficient readers become automatic at word identification processes, allowing them to be performed with minimal demand for the allocation of cognitive resources. Less proficient readers commonly have slower, less accurate, and more cognitive resources demanding word identification processes; thus, more proficient readers tend to have more cognitive resources remaining to attend to the more complex processes involved in reading comprehension (Just & Carpenter, 1992; Stanovich, 2000).

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