, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 540-545

Imaging while reading text: A study of individual differences

Abstract

In a series of four experiments, reading time of texts and memory for their informational content were studied in relation to readers’ imagery abilities. The main prediction was that if high imagers (HIs) tend to elaborate images expressing the semantic content of the text while reading, then they should require more time to read imageable material than low imagers (LIs). And in fact, when subjects read a descriptive/narrative text, HIs not only read more slowly, but remembered the text better than LIs. In contrast, when subjects read abstract, nonimageable material, there was no difference between the two groups in reading times or memory. Additional experiments provided further support for the claim that HIs spent more time elaborating images while they read descriptive/narrative text.

This research was conducted in the Laboratoire de Psychologie, E.R.A. au C.N.R.S. No. 235, Université de Paris VIII, as a contribution to the A.T.P. No. 3580 (Travail de ľElève). Danielle Le Taillanter efficiently contributed to collection and analysis of the data. This paper was written while the author was a Fulbright Visitor at the Department of Psychology, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts. Laboratoire de