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Preliminary Analysis of PhotoreadingThe purpose of this project was to provide a preliminary analysis of a reading strategy called PhotoReading. PhotoReading is a technique developed by Paul Scheele that claims to increase reading rate to 25,000 words per minute (Scheele, 1993). PhotoReading itself involves entering a "relaxed state" and looking at, but not reading, each page of a text for a brief moment (about I to 2 seconds). While this technique has received attention in the popular press, there had been no objective examinations of the technique's validity. To examine the effectiveness of PhotoReading, the principal investigator (i.e., trainee) participated in a PhotoReading workshop to learn the technique. Parallel versions of two standardized and three experimenter-created reading comprehension tests were administered to the trainee and an expert user of the PhotoReading technique to compare the use of normal reading strategies and the PhotoReading technique by both readers. The results for all measures yielded no benefits of using the PhotoReading technique. The extremely rapid reading rates claimed by PhotoReaders were not observed; indeed, the reading rates were generally comparable to those for normal reading. Moreover, the PhotoReading expert generally showed an increase in reading time when using the PhotoReading technique in comparison to when using normal reading strategies to process text. This increase in reading time when PhotoReading was accompanied by a decrease in text comprehension.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Ames Research Center
Document Type
Contractor or Grantee Report
McNamara, Danielle S.
(Old Dominion Univ. Norfolk, VA United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2000
Subject Category
Behavioral Sciences
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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