ERIC Number: ED178877
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Apprehension Span of Adult Fluent Readers: A Clarification of J. M. Cattell's Classic Research on Letter and Word Perception.
Baumann, James F.; Schneider, Karen Wilson
The amount of print that 42 college students apprehended in 40 millisecond tachistoscopic flash presentations was monitored for strings of random letters, unrelated words, and words in context (sentences). The results indicated that mean apprehension spans per flash were 3.7 letters for random letters, 9.3 letters (2.0 words) for unrelated words, and 11.5 letters (2.4 words) for words in context. These findings were consistent with those of J. M. Cattell, except that Cattell reported a mean of four words for words in context. Although context did not increase apprehension spans as much as Cattell and others have reported, the results do not negate the importance of context in normal reading. The results also indicate a strong positive correlation between the numbers of letters and words correctly and incorrectly identified. This correlation seems to support the "risk taking" hypothesis, which states that better readers will make more errors in an effort to make more correct identifications. (Author/RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Research and Development Center for Individualized Schooling.