A book or a screen – which of these two offers more reading comfort? There are no disadvantages to reading from electronic reading devices compared with reading printed texts. This is one of the results of the world's first reading study of its kind undertaken by the Research Unit Media Convergence of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with MVB Marketing- und Verlagsservice des Buchhandels GmbH.
"E-books and e-readers are playing an increasingly important role on the worldwide book market. However, readers in Germany are particularly skeptical when it comes to e-books and electronic reading devices. The objective of the study was to investigate whether there are reasons for this skepticism," says the initiator of the study, Professor Dr. Stephan Füssel, chair of the Gutenberg-Institute of Book Studies and spokesperson for the Media Convergence Research Unit at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. "This study provides us with a scientific basis for dispelling the widespread misconception that reading from a screen has negative effects," explains Füssel. "There is no (reading) culture clash – whether it is analog or digital, reading remains the most important cultural technology."
However, the result of the study stands in stark contrast with the participants' subjective reaction. "Almost all of the participants stated that they liked reading a printed book best. This was the dominant subjective response, but it does not match the data obtained from the study," specifies Professor Dr. Matthias Schlesewsky, Head of the Research Group Neurocognition of Language Universals of the Department of English and Linguistics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, who designed and conducted the study together with Professor Füssel. In fact, tablet PCs actually provide an advantage over e-ink readers and the printed page that is not consciously perceivable: the information is processed more easily when a tablet PC is employed. Furthermore, while there were no differences between the three media employed in terms of rates of reading by the younger participants, the older participants exhibited faster reading times when using the tablet PC.
Similarly, the participants' subjective perceptions did not match the results of a comparison of e-ink readers and printed paper texts. Almost all participants stated that reading from paper was more comfortable than from an e-ink reader despite the fact that the study actually showed that there was no difference in terms of reading performance between reading from paper and from an e-ink reader. "We have thus demonstrated that the subjective preference for the printed book is not an indicator of how fast and how well the information is processed," concludes Professor Schlesewsky.
The co-initiator and cooperating partner institution of the study is MVB Marketing- und Verlagsservice des Buchhandels GmbH, operator of the e-book platform libreka!. "We are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with and support Mainz University in this one-of-a-kind study. As a subsidiary of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association (Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels e.V.), we have established the prerequisites for publishing companies and bookstores to adapt to the digital age by setting up the libreka! platform. Shaping the market is important to us, and that also includes understanding the readers' needs," states Ronald Schild, CEO of MVB, explaining the reasons for the organization's participation in the study.
The study analyzed the differences in reading from various kinds of media (e-book, tablet PC, paper) in two sample groups, young and elderly adults. Each participant read various texts with different levels of complexity on an e-book reader (Kindle 3), on a tablet PC (iPad), and on paper. The reading behavior and the participants' corresponding neural processes were assessed by means of concurrent measures of eye movements (eye tracking) and electrophysiological brain activity (EEG). The criteria that were taken into account and analyzed were changes in the theta frequency band power, reading behavior, text comprehension, and information recall as well as the participants' preferences for the respective medium.
Petra Giegerich | idw
Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences