Information-Processing Approaches to Reading Disability

  • George Wolford
Part of the Springer Series in Cognitive Development book series (SSCOG)


There has been growing interest in the application of the information-processing approach to the study of reading difficulties. In many ways the examination of reading deficits is an ideal application of the information-processing perspective. Much of the research in information processing focuses on the processes involved in skilled reading. In recent years, fairly detailed processing models of skilled reading have emerged (e.g., LaBerge & Samuels, 1974; Morton & Patterson, 1980). These models should aid our ability to identify and specify the causes of reading difficulty. It is my belief that the promise of this approach has begun to be realized. It is also my belief, however, that often investigators employing this approach fall prey to many of the traditional pitfalls of research on reading difficulty. This chapter will outline some of the potential benefits of an information-processing approach and will document some potential dangers. I begin by describing a recent account of reading deficits that would have profited from some consideration of information processing. I, then, summarize some recent research on reading deficits carried out in conjunction with Carol Fowler. That work illustrates some of the benefits of, and problems with, current research on reading deficits.


Poor Reader Reading Disability Good Reader Reading Difficulty Reading Achievement 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1985

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  • George Wolford

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