What readers actually read Per Henning Uppstad Associate professor (PhD), UiS
What readers actually read The impact of the reader’s The impact of expericence the Task The role of attention and motivation
The reader’s experience• Readers are different: background knowledge, personal style, speed, preferences• However, some behaviour can be predicted: behaviour related to expericence in specific domains• What expert readers do: – They read with ease and speed – They are able to identify the difficult parts of the text, reducing speed and re-read if necessary – They make an overview and summarize a text from a limited set of markers
Expert readers:• Are familiar with the texts of a particular professional domain.• ”10 000 hour rule” (Ericsson et al, 1991)• Evaluation by intuition
• Such positive markers are: – Well selected and informative graphics • The reader should never think: what function has this picture? Where is the point of the graph explained? – Well organized structure of text, well formulated text. – Highlighted text: Introductions, headings, summaries, key-text.
The role of attention and motivation• ”Attention is limited” - readers don’t read with full concentration all the time. And even if they did– they would still miss some of your points.Consequences: Make sure that what attracts attention is important. - highlighted text (key text, headings, introductions, summaries) - Rethorical iteration (say what you are going to say, say it, say what you have said). Never start or end a paragraph with a weak argument , put it between the good ones.
The role of attention and motivation• ”Motivation is fragile”Make sure you have presented the main point before the reader gets bored. Expert readers will judge at an earlier stage than less experienced readers.Consequences: If a text passage is unclear for your colleague– it will be unclear to others, and a source of boredom. Experienced readers are addicted to the feeling of understanding with relative ease.
Radial vs serial information graphics radial serial Holsanova et al, 2008
• Ericsson, K. A., and J. Smith, eds., 1991, *Toward a General Theory of Expertise: Prospects and Limits*. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.• Holsanova, J., Holmqvist, K. & Holmberg, N. (2008): Reading information graphics: The Role of Spatial Proximity and Dual Attentional Guidance. Applied Cognitive Psychology (2008).• Holsanova, J., Rahm, H., & Holmqvist, K. (2006). Entry points and reading paths on the newspaper spread: Comparing semiotic analysis with eye- tracking measurements. Visual Communication, 5, 65–93.