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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00038

Comparing comprehension of a long text read in print book and on Kindle: Where in the text and when in the story?

 Anne Mangen1, Gerard Olivier2 and  jean-luc Velay3*
  • 1Norwegian Reading Centre, University of Stavanger, Norway
  • 2Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Récits Cultures Et Sociétés (LIRCES EA 3159), Université Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France
  • 3UMR7192 Proche Orient, Caucase langues, archéologie, cultures, France

Digital reading devices such as Kindle differ from paper books with respect to the kinesthetic and tactile feedback provided to the reader, but the role of these features in reading is rarely studied empirically. This experiment compares reading of a long text on Kindle DX and in print. Fifty participants (24 years old) read a 28 page (approx. one hour reading time) long mystery story on Kindle or in a print pocket book and completed several tests measuring various levels of reading comprehension: engagement, recall, capacities to locate events in the text and reconstructing the plot of the story. Results showed that in most tests subjects performed identically whatever the reading medium. However, on measures related to chronology and temporality, those who had read in the print pocket book, performed better than those who had read on a Kindle. It is concluded that, basically comprehension was similar with both media, but, because kinesthetic feedback is less informative with kindle, readers were not as efficient to locate events in the space of the text and hence in the temporality of the story. We suggest that, to get a correct spatial representation of the text and consequently a coherent temporal organization of the story, readers would be reliant on the sensorimotor cues which are afforded by the manipulation of the book.

Keywords: reading comprehension, Kinesthetic feedback, print-book, Kindle, Long text reading

Received: 20 Sep 2018; Accepted: 08 Jan 2019.

Edited by:

Francesca M. Bosco, University of Turin, Italy

Reviewed by:

Anne Giersch, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), France
Christian Tarchi, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy  

Copyright: © 2019 Mangen, Olivier and Velay. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. jean-luc Velay, UMR7192 Proche Orient, Caucase langues, archéologie, cultures, Paris, France, jean-luc.velay@univ-amu.fr