Erik D. Reichle, University of Pittsburgh
Francisco J. Morales, University of Pittsburgh
Patryk A. Laurent, University of Pittsburgh
David V. Halpern, University of Pittsburgh
Jonathan W. Schooler, University of British Columbia
Abstract: "Mindless reading" occurs when, during reading, our eyes continue to move across the printed page in spite of the fact that we are busy thinking about things that are often completely unrelated to the text. Despite of the fact that it appears to be both ubiquitous and detrimental to reading comprehension, the phenomenon has received scant attention from reading educators or cognitive scientists. The results of three behavioral experiments on mindless reading will be reported in this talk. These results demonstrate that mindless reading can be studied in laboratory contexts, that it often occurs without awareness of the fact that it is happening, and that it does indeed cause problems for reading comprehension. These results will be described within a formal computational framework, and the implications of this work for the practice of reading education and for our general understanding of both reading and meta-awareness will also be discussed.