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Reliability and Validity of Eye Movement Measures of Reading.pdf

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University of Minnesota

Since the turn of the century eye-movement records have
been employed more and more as measures of reading performance. There are now several important laboratories
equipped for studying eye movements by the photographic
technique. In an earlier paper, Tinker * suggested that the
wide-spread use of eye-movement measures of reading ability
justifies an evaluation of the photographic technique. It is
time to inquire whether photographic records are reliable and
valid measures of reading.
Until quite recently investigators have apparently assumed
that the various measures of eye movements were sufficiently
reliable to justify rather definite conclusions from the data
collected. Recently published reliability coefficients are high.
Litterer 2 obtained coefficients of .91 and .92 for perception
time and fixation frequency on easy prose, and .91 and .78
for the same measures on scientific prose. Also using adult
subjects, Eurich's s reliability coefficients were: fixation frequency = .85; pause duration = .91; regression frequency
= .77. With children4 the three comparable reliability
coefficients for reading three short paragraphs were .91, .86,
and .91. For any single paragraph the coefficients ranged
* The expenses of this study were met by a research grant from the Graduate
School, University of Minnesota.
'Tinker, M. A., Use and limitations of eye-movement measures of reading.
Psychol. Rev., 1933, 40, 381-387.
'Litterer, 0 . F., An experimental analysis of reading performance. / . Exper.
Educ, 1932, 1, 28-33.
•Eurich, A. C , The reliability and validity of photographic eye-movement
records. / . Educ. Psychol., 1933, 24, 118-122.
Eurich, A. G, Additional data on the reliability and validity of photographic
eye-movement records. / . Educ. Psychol., 1933, 34, 380-384..