The purpose of this study was to examine the hypothesis that the attentional demands of word recognition covary with other measures of reading efficiency. Individual differences in efficiency were indexed by (a) speed and accuracy of lexical access, (b) obligatory activation of phonological codes, and (c) working memory capacity. The attentional demands of word recognition were measured with a dual-task technique. Subjects performed naming and probe-detection tasks separately (single task) and in combination (dual task). The results showed that single-task to dual-task decrements in performance on the naming and probe tasks were predicted by measures of the speed and accuracy of lexical access, obligatory activation of phonological codes, and efficiency of working memory. These findings provide support for the widespread assumption that the attentional demands of basic reading processes are a source of individual differences in reading skill.

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Journal Journal of Educational Psychology
Citation
Herdman, C.M, & LeFevre, J.-A. (1992). Individual Differences in the Efficiency of Word Recognition. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84(1), 95–102.