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Title:Eye Movement Control During Reading: The Selection of Where to Send the Eyes
Author(s):Kerr, Paul William
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McConkie, George W.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Educational Psychology
Education, Reading
Psychology, Experimental
Abstract:Studies of eye movements during reading have provided much information about the moment by moment perceptual and cognitive processes that occur during reading. However, the validity of the claims made about these processes depends largely upon the correspondence of eye movement control and the processes under investigation. While there is certainly a sufficiently close correspondence between eye movements and perceptual and cognitive processes to reach broad conclusions, as a reader's eye movements are called upon to make finer and more complicated distinctions between explanations of perception and cognition, the limitations of our understanding of the link between the processes and eye movement control become apparent. Thus, it is necessary to understand which characteristics of eye movement behavior during reading are directly linked to a phenomenon of interest, and which are the consequence of other factors, that if ignored would cause misinterpretation of the eye movement behavior.
A primary purpose for the current study is to provide a mathematical description of the factors which influence where the eyes fixate during reading, and more specifically which words are fixated and which are skipped, and of the influences that different subject, text, and processing related variables have on this aspect of eye movement control during reading. This thesis extends the work initiated at the Center for the Study of Reading to develop a model of eye movement control that could be used to estimate the influence of variables of interest on the reading process (for example, psychological or linguistic factors) by means of the eye movements of a reader with the variance associated with uninteresting but potentially misleading variables (such as perceptual and oculomotor error factors) controlled.
Factors examined in this study which were found to influence the likelihood of skipping a word are the word's length and frequency, the eye's distance to the word on the preceding fixation and the amount of time spent at that location; whereas, the amount of contextual constraint present at a word's location in the text as provided by prior context does not influence the likelihood of skipping the word.
Issue Date:1992
Description:282 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1992.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9305577
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1992

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