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December 1929

Report of the Committee on the Physiology of Vision. III. Studies in the Psychology of Reading. A. The Errors Made in Reading.

Author Affiliations

By M. D. Vernon. B. Three Experiments on the Relation of Meaning to Perception in Reading. By R. W. Pickford. From the Psychological Laboratory of the University of Cambridge. Price, 2 shillings. Pp. 59. London : His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1929.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1929;2(6):764. doi:10.1001/archopht.1929.00810020787019

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This pamphlet of fifty-nine pages describes two sets of experiments on the psychology of reading. The first, by Mr. Vernon, is an attempt to determine to what extent whole words are perceived by the recognition letter by letter, of the printing type which goes to make up words, and to what extent by other processes, such as the perception of each word as a whole, or by certain determining letters or by judging words by their probable meaning in the context.

In each series of experiments an apparatus called a "tachistiscope" was used. With this instrument word or short sentence exposures of about one-fifth second could be obtained. This apparatus also permitted the rapid changing of words or short sentences, or the substitution of words in the sentence.

The general conclusion reached from the first series of experiments was that when the meaning of the material read was fully comprehended,

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