Microethology of Spelling Behaviour in Normal and Dyslexic Development

  • S. Farnham-Diggory
  • Billie Nelson


The term microethology borrows from biology a concern with the natural stream of behaviour and, from cognitive psychology, a concern with analytical detail. The behaviour in this case was the writing (printing) of familiar words in one’s own natural tempo. The words were written with a felt pen on a plexiglass panel, rather like writing on a blackboard, and were videotaped through the plexiglass. A counter was superimposed on the videotape, so the exact course of the writing could be analyzed on a millisecond by millisecond basis.


Subdivision Strategy Correct Spelling Dyslexic Group Grapheme Error Word Picture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Broadbent, D.E., 1975, The magic number seven after 15 years, in: “Studies in Long Term Memory”, A. Kennedy & A. Wilkes, eds., Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  2. Brown, A.L. & DeLoache, J.S., 1978, Skills, plans, and self-regulation in: “Children’s Thinking: What Develops?”. R.S. Siegler, ed., Erlbaum, Hillsdale.Google Scholar
  3. Chi, M.T.H., 1978, Knowledge structures and memory development, in: “Children’s Thinking: What Develops?”, R.S. Siegler, ed., Erlbaum, Hillsdale.Google Scholar
  4. Farnham-Diggory, S., Nelson, B. & Rohrlich, J., “Microethology of Symbolic Behaviour”, in preparation.Google Scholar
  5. Gelman, R., 1978, Counting in the preschooler: What does and and does not develop, in: “Children’s Thinking: What Develops?”, R.S. Siegler, ed., Erlbaum, Hillsdale.Google Scholar
  6. Sternberg, R.J., 1980, Factor theories of intelligence are all right almost, Educational Researcher, September.Google Scholar
  7. Sternberg, S., Monsell, S., Knoll, R.L. & Wright, C.E., 1978, The latency and duration of rapid movement sequences: Comparisons of speech and typewriting, in: “Information Processing in Motor Control and Learning”, G.E. Stelmach, ed., Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  8. Vellutino, F.R., 1979, “Dyslexia”. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  9. Winer, B.J., 1971, “Statistical Principles in Experimental Design”, McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  10. Wing, A.M. & Baddeley, 1980, Spelling errors in handwriting: A corpus and a distributional analysis, in: “Cognitive Processes in Spelling”, U. Frith, ed., Academic Press, London.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Farnham-Diggory
    • 1
  • Billie Nelson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of DelawareUSA

Personalised recommendations