Reading and Writing

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 231–243 | Cite as

Orthographic and phonological coding during visual word matching as related to reading and spelling abilities in college students

  • Charles F. Levinthal
  • Michelle Hornung


College students, scoring average to above-average on WRAT-R subscales for reading and spelling, made match/nonmatch judgments on word pairs either on the basis of phonological similarity (a rhyme match) or orthographic similarity (a visual match). Word pairs rhymed and looked similar, rhymed but looked dissimilar, or looked similar but did not rhyme. Word pairs for which a nonmatch decision had to be made, despite similarity in the irrelevant dimension, produced significantly more errors and longer response latencies. Poorer readers were less vulnerable to phonological interference when making visual discriminations, and poorer readers and spellers were more vulnerable to orthographic interference when making rhyme matches. Results showed that a deficiency in phonological coding and an over-reliance upon orthographic coding, often observed in dyslexic children, can also be seen in relatively poor readers and spellers within a normal adult population.

Key words

Orthographic coding Phonological coding Phonological deficiency Reading Spelling 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles F. Levinthal
    • 1
  • Michelle Hornung
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyHofstra UniversityHempsteadUSA

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