In the brave new digital world of reading, words flash by one at a time on the tiny screens of smart watches and phones. This portable, pageless story doesn’t end well for people keen on understanding what they’ve read, say psychologist Elizabeth Schotter of the University of California, San Diego and her colleagues.
Rereading words salvages understanding of initially confusing passages, Schotter’s team reports April 18 in Psychological Science. Software that presents words one at a time makes it impossible to scan previously read words and phrases, undermining text comprehension, the scientists say.
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