Information Processing Strategies in Good and Poor Readers

Abigail B. Sivan, Amiram Carmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Visually presented information can be processed either by sequential analysis of individual bits or in parallel by grasping the total information as a complete pattern. Reading provides an example of a stimulus to which either process can be applied. Learning to read, however, appears to require a sequential process for efficient learning. Using a microcomputer, a program was generated to present arrays and sequences of Hebrew letters and Arabic numberals to 160 second-and third-grade Israeli school children. Using the computer output as a stimulus, we examined the children’s facility in, and preference for, either holistic or sequential processing. The children’s reading skills were assessed by their teachers and were used in analyses to examine the relationships among perceptual strategy, preferred strategy, and reading achievement. The results showed that, although the performance of good readers was better than that of poor readers on both strategies, the preference of individual pupils for the sequential strategy was positively correlated with reading achievement. Almost all good readers showed a preference for a sequential strategy, whereas a substantial proportion of the poor readers showed a preference for a holistic/parallel strategy. This computer-generated testing technique provides a possible method for early identification of children at risk for reading failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Neuropsychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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