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Electronic reading: Impact of different digital devices on reading comprehension

Pedro Joaquín Benedetti

  • Buenos Aires,
  • Argentina
  • Pedro Benedetti* ¹
  • , Andrés Cotton* ⁴
  • , Fabricio Ballarini** ¹𝄒²
  • , Valeria Abusamra** ³𝄒⁴
  • , Daniela Ramírez Butavand ¹𝄒²
  • 1 ITBA
  • 2 Instituto de Biología Celular y Neurociencias, UBA, CONICET
  • 4 UBA

It is increasingly common to read and study on electronic devices and previous research suggests that technology influences the way we read and process textual information.Therefore, we decided to investigate the impact of the device type (smartphone or computer) on reading comprehension from a psycho and neurolinguistic perspective. A website and a reading comprehension screening were designed and 1619 people were evaluated considering their ages, formal education and reading habits. The score obtained and the efficiency (score/time) were compared in 3 age groups: 15-30 years, 31-50 years and 51-70 years.
Significant differences in efficiency were observed (one-way ANOVA: F(2.1616)=7.03, p=0.0009) and the post hoc analysis of multiple comparisons showed a significant improvement in the efficiency of the younger age group in comparison with both the 31-50 year-old group (p=0.0048) and the 51-70 year-old group (0.0140). No differences were observed in the score obtained by these groups (one-way ANOVA: F(2.1616)=2.60, p=0.0747).
When comparing the performance between smartphone and computer reading in the different age groups, no statistically significant differences were found in the obtained scores (two-way ANOVA, device factor: F(1.1598)=0.1818, p=0.6699), nor in the efficiency (two-way ANOVA, device factor: F(1.1598)=1.842, p=0.1749). *, ** Equal Contribution.