Reading Print Versus Digital Increases Comprehension: Study

By Dianna Dilworth Comment

bookstack304Reading a print book is better for comprehension than reading on a computer, according to a new report out of Norway.

Researchers from at the Reading Centre of the The University of Stavanger conducted a study on a group of 10th graders and formed this conclusion. For the study, students were divided into two groups — those reading books and those reading on computers. Both groups were given the same two texts, one fiction and one nonfiction. After they read the text, the students were quizzed for comprehension. Those that read print books did better on the tests than those that read on computers, even when accounting for their reading skills and vocabulary going into the study.

Why? The researchers concluded that reading print texts helps the brain form mental maps. has more:

This perceptible, direct experience gives you a mental map of the entire text. The brain has an easier task when you can touch as well as see. Previous research has demonstrated that a mental map is particularly important if the text is long. Lengthy texts call for quicker navigation. You need to be able to leaf back and forth through different parts of the text to see, review and comprehend relationships and contexts.