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Word skipping: effects of word length, predictability, spelling and reading skill.

Slattery, T. and Yates, M., 2018. Word skipping: effects of word length, predictability, spelling and reading skill. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71 (1), 250-259.

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DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2017.1310264


Readers eyes often skip over words as they read. Skipping rates are largely determined by word length; short words are skipped more than long words. However, the predictability of a word in context also impacts skipping rates. Rayner, Slattery, Drieghe and Liversedge (2011) reported an effect of predictability on word skipping for even long words (10-13 characters) that extend beyond the word identification span. Recent research suggests that better readers and spellers have an enhanced perceptual span (Veldre & Andrews, 2014). We explored whether reading and spelling skill interact with word length and predictability to impact word skipping rates in a large sample (N=92) of average and poor adult readers. Participants read the items from Rayner et al. (2011) while their eye movements were recorded. Spelling skill (zSpell) was assessed using the dictation and recognition tasks developed by Sally Andrews and colleagues. Reading skill (zRead) was assessed from reading speed (words per minute) and accuracy of three 120 word passages each with 10 comprehension questions. We fit linear mixed models to the target gaze duration data and generalized linear mixed models to the target word skipping data. Target word gaze durations were significantly predicted by zRead while, the skipping likelihoods were significantly predicted by zSpell. Additionally, for gaze durations, zRead significantly interacted with word predictability as better readers relied less on context to support word processing. These effects are discussed in relation to the lexical quality hypothesis and eye movement models of reading.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Eye movements ; Reading ; Spelling ability ; Word Skipping
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:27245
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:21 Feb 2017 16:16
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:02


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