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Reading on iPad versus paper: A behavioral experiment


Li Zongying



With the growing popularity and accessibility of digital reading devices, questions regarding their effect on reading comprehension arise. Fifty- four college students were randomly assigned to either experimental group or control group. Participants in the experimental group read a two-page text on an iPad and participants in the control group read the same two-page text on a piece of paper. After the 15-minutes of reading, participants completed 10 SAT questions that measured their reading comprehension on abstract information and detailed information from the two-page text. Multiple-regression analysis results showed that the two groups differed only on their comprehension of the abstract information. Besides the group factor, time spent on completing the SAT questions also predicted participants’ scores on abstract questions. Consistent with some previous studies, there were no significant differences in the overall scores between the iPad and paper groups.


reading comprehension
digital media
reading speed
narrative text


Li Zongying





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