Friday, April 15, 2016

Speed Reading is Bunk

I always suspected as much:
So how does this fit in with the claims of professional speed-readers? The researchers cite evidence that historically, when people have been tested after a speed-reading course, tests have on occasion allegedly been rigged to produce positive results: “Sometimes the pretest is harder than the posttest, and other times trainees are tested repeatedly on the same material.” And under controlled conditions, test results have been appalling; one investigator remarked that the only achievement demonstrated was “a remarkable dexterity in page-turning.” The researchers concluded: “Essentially, the speed readers had increased their ability to construct reasonably accurate inferences about text content on the basis of partial information and their preexisting knowledge.”
Not that we couldn't all concentrate better and read faster – I'm sure I could, if I really put my mind to it – just that the alleged techniques of champion speed readers don't help.

2 comments:

David said...

"Essentially, the speed readers had increased their ability to construct reasonably accurate inferences about text content on the basis of partial information and their preexisting knowledge."

Isn't that the very definition of speed-reading? Isn't the point to breeze through a text and then look smart and knowledgeable and confident in a classroom or a boardroom?

Shadow Flutter said...

"Another debunked claim of speed-readers is that suppressing the little voice reading along inside our head (known as subvocalization) can effectively help us process text faster. But subvocalization plays an important role in word identification and comprehension ..."

This I am happy to see, because I subvocalize. An oft cited cardinal rule of reading faster debunked.