Even for people who love books, finding the opportunity to read can be a challenge. Many, then, rely on audiobooks, a convenient alternative to old-fashioned reading. You can listen to the latest bestseller while commuting or cleaning up the house.
But is listening to a book really the same as reading one?
“I was a fan of audiobooks, but I always viewed them as cheating,” says Beth Rogowsky, an associate professor of education at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.
For a 2016 study, Rogowsky put her assumptions to the test. One group in her study listened to sections of Unbroken, a nonfiction book about World War II by Laura Hillenbrand, while a second group read the same parts on an e-reader. She included a third group that both read and listened at the same time. Afterward, everyone took a quiz designed to measure how well they had absorbed the material. “We found no significant differences in comprehension between reading, listening, or reading and listening simultaneously,” Rogowsky says.
Fellowships for Elisabeth Conradt of the University of Utah, Ian Krajbich of the Ohio State University, and Nicole Landi of the University of Connecticut and Yale University will allow them to take extended sabbatical periods for their research.
Association for Psychological Science
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