By Deborah Williams
Parents will be interested in knowing the results of the world’s first reading study to determine the differences between reading printed text and electronic reading. Science Daily reports in the article, “Reading a Book Versus a Screen: Different Reading Devices, Different Modes of Reading?” the Research Unit Media Convergence of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz found that “This study provides us with a scientific basis for dispelling the widespread misconception that reading from a screen has negative effects. There is no (reading) culture clash—whether it is analog or digital, reading remains the most important cultural technology.”
The majority of the participants indicated that they preferred reading a printed book over any other mode of reading, but the researchers point out that tablet PCs actually are more advantageous than “e-ink readers and the printed page that is not consciously perceivable: the information is processed more easily when a tablet PC is employed.” Further, the results show that there is no difference among the three media used in terms of reading rates for younger participants, but older participants had faster reading rates when they used the tablet PC.
According to the lead researcher Professor Schlesewsky, the preference for printed text “is not an indicator of how fast and how well the information is processed.”