ERIC Number: EJ719835
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Viewing Eye Movements During Reading through the Lens of Chaos Theory: How Reading Is Like the Weather
Paulson, Eric J.
Reading Research Quarterly, v40 n3 p338-358 Jul-Sep 2005
This theoretical article examines reading processes using chaos theory as an analogy. Three principles of chaos theory are identified and discussed, then related to reading processes as revealed through eye movement research. Used as an analogy, the chaos theory principle of sensitive dependence contributes to understanding the difficulty in predicting the nature of a reader's eye movement regressions, the principle of self-similarity is realized in the statistical similarity of a reader's eye movements at different levels of text, and the principle of non-linearity is demonstrated through the intersection of eye movements and oral reading miscue analysis. When related to chaos theory in this way, reading can be described as a self-similar, nonlinear dynamical system sensitively dependent on reader and text characteristics throughout the reading process. Implications of viewing reading processes through a chaos theory perspective are discussed.
Descriptors: Human Body, Reading Processes, Eye Movements, Physics, Oral Reading, Miscue Analysis, Reader Text Relationship, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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