Studying Individual Differences in Reading

  • James L. McClelland
  • Mark D. Jackson
Part of the Nato Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 5)


Perhaps as much as any other natural human activity, reading is a very complex process. Those of us who take an analytic attitude toward reading tend to think of it as a process that emerges from several simpler component information processing activities. We speak of the processes that control the movements of the eyes, guiding them to the the successive points of fixation in the text, and of the processes of letter and word identification. Some researchers stress the importance of phonological encoding processes, and syntactic processes are obviously important. Finally, we speak of the semantic processes that result in the comprehension of what is read, integrating the incoming information with information already stored in the reader’s memory. An analytic approach may be necessary if we are to make progress toward an understanding of the reading process. At the same time, however, we should not lose sight of the fact that reading is not merely the concatenation of the components into which we divide it for the sake of analysis. In the fluent reader, it is clear that the components are all highly interdependent (Rumelhart, 1977).


Individual Difference Reading Ability Poor Reader Fluent Reader Reading Process 
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.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • James L. McClelland
    • 1
  • Mark D. Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaSan Diego LaJollaUSA

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