Journal of Research Design and Statistics in Linguistics and Communication Science, Vol 4, No 2 (2017)

The DUT task: A novel experimental paradigm to investigate the variability of eye movements in whole-text reading for meaning

Tobias Alf Kroll, A. Alexandre Trindade, Amber Asikis, Melissa Salas, Marcy Lau, Chelsey Saenz, Madison Head, Chalani Prematilake, Carolyn Perry
Issued Date: 5 Sep 2018


This article reports on the development of a novel experimental paradigm for the investigation of the statistical properties of eye movements in whole-text reading, with a focus on variability. Eye movements in reading for meaning were compared to eye movements in proofreading without comprehending, using texts as stimuli that were deemed to be difficult and uninteresting to participants, and hence to effectively preclude reading for meaning in the proofreading condition. Using a linear mixed model for a 4-way ANOVA, variability of total fixation durations and number of fixations was found to be significantly different between conditions, but only for one of the two texts in one of the two designs. This suggests that there may be a correlation between reading proficiency and variability of eye movements, but also that in order to determine this correlation, stimulus texts must be precisely tailored to the participant population.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/jrds.35601


Bates, D., Machler, M., Bolker, B., and Walker, S. (2015). Fitting linear mixed-effects models using lme4. Journal of Statistical Software 67: 1–48.

Brown, J., Kim, K., and O‘Brien Ramirez, K. (2012). What a teacher hears, what a reader sees: Eye movements from a phonics taught second grader. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy 12: 202–222.

Cronbach, L. J. (1975). Beyond the two disciplines of scientific psychology. American Psychologist 30: 671–684.

Damico, J. S. and Ball, M. J. (2010). Prolegomenon: Addressing the tyranny of old ideas. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders 1 (1): 1–29.

Damico, J. S. and Nelson, R. L. (2010). Reading and reading impairments. In J. S. Damico, N. Müller, and M. J. Ball (Eds) The Handbook of Speech and Language Disorders, 267–295. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Duckett, P. d. B. (2003). Envisioning story: The eye movements of beginning readers. Literacy Teaching and Learning 7: 77–89.

Fulcher, G. (1997). Text difficulty and accessibility: Reading formulae and expert judgement. System 25: 497–513.

Goldberger, A. L. (2006). Complex systems. Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society 3: 467–472.

Goldberger, A. L., Moody, G. B., and Costa, M. D. (2012). Variability vs. complexity. Retrieved on 5 March 2016 from

Goodman, K. S. (1994). Reading, writing, and written texts: A transactional socio­psycholinguistic view. In R. B. Ruddell, M. R. Ruddell, and H. Singer (Eds) Theoretical Models and Processes of Reading (4th ed.), 1093–1130. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Gough, P. B., Hoover, W. A., and Peterson, C. L. (1996). Some observations on a simple view of reading. In C. Cornoldi and J. Oakhill (Eds), Reading Comprehension Difficulties: Processes and Intervention, 1–13. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

Henderson, J. M. and Luke, S. G. (2014). Stable individual differences in saccadic eye movements during reading, pseudoreading, scene viewing, and scene search. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 40: 1390–1400.

Hidi, S. (2001). Interest, reading, and learning: theoretical and practical considerations. Educational Psychology Review 13: 191–209.

Hoover, W. A. and Gough, P. B. (1990). The simple view of reading. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal 2, 127–160.

Kaakinen, J. K. and Hyönä, J. (2010). Task effects on eye movements during reading. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 36: 1561–1566.

Kintsch, W. (1980). Learning from text, levels of comprehension, or: why anyone would read a story anyway. Poetics 9: 87–98.

Kuperman, V. and Van Dyke, J. A. (2011). Effects of individual differences in verbal skills on eye-movement patterns during sentence reading. Journal of Memory and Language 65: 42–73.

Lehmann, E. L. (2006). Nonparametrics: Statistical Methods Based on Ranks. New York: Springer.

Li, X., Rayner, K., Williams, C. C., Cave, K. R., and Well, A. D. (2007). Eye movements and individual differences. Visual Cognition 15: 105–108.

Murphy, S. (2013). Assessing text difficulty for students. ‘What works? Research into practice’ Research Monograph #44. Retrieved on 26 February 2016 from

Nelson, N. (2010). Language and Literacy Disorders: Infancy Through Adolescence. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Nelson, R. L., Damico, J., and Smith, S. (2008). Applying eye movement miscue analysis to the reading patterns of children with language impairment. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics 22: 293–303

Noë, A. (2014). The world looked better through Anne Hollander’s eyes. Retrieved on 12 October 2015 from

Noë, A. (2015). Peering into Rembrandt’s eyes. Retrieved on 6 September 2015 from­into­rembrandts­eyes

Paulson, E. J. (2002). Are oral reading word omissions and substitutions caused by careless eye movements? Reading Psychology 23: 45–66.

Paulson, E. J. (2005). Viewing eye movements during reading through the lens of chaos theory: How reading is like the weather. Reading Research Quarterly 40: 338–358.

RAND Reading Study Group (2002). Reading for Understanding. Toward and R&D Program in Reading Comprehension. Santa Monica, CA: RAND.

Rayner, K. (1998). Eye movements in reading and information processing: 20 years of research. Psychological Bulletin 134: 372–422.

Rayner, K. (2009). The 35th Sir Frederick Bartlett lecture: Eye movements and attention in reading, scene perception, and visual search. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 62, 1457–1506.

Rayner, K. and Juhasz, B. (2006). Reading processes in adults. In R. E. Asher and M. M. Y. Simpson (Eds) Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, vol. 10, 373–378. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Rayner, K., Schotter, E. R., Masson, M. E., Potter, M. C., and Treiman, R. (2016). So much to read, so little time: How do we read, and can speed reading help? Psychological Science in the Public Interest 17: 4–34.

R Core Team (2016). R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. Retrieved on 6 March 2017 from

Schmeisser, E. T., McDonough, J. M., Bond, M., Hislop, P. D., and Epstein, A. D. (2001). Fractal analysis of eye movements during reading. Optometry and Vision Science 78: 805–814.

Schnitzer, B. S. and Kowler, E. (2006). Eye movements during multiple readings of the same text. Vision Research 46: 1611–1632.

Schotter, E. R., Bicknell, K., Howard, I., Levy, R., and Rayner, K. (2014). Task effects reveal cognitive flexibility responding to frequency and predictability: Evidence from eye movements in reading and proofreading. Cognition 131: 1–27.

Smith, F. (2004). Understanding Reading. A Psycholinguistic Analysis of Reading and Learning to Read (6th ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Tobii AB (2010). Tobii Studio 2.X Software Release 2.2 Manual. Falls Church, VA: Tobii Technology AB.

Tobii AB (2015). Tobii Pro X260 Eye Tracker. Retrieved on 16 June 2013 from

Traxler, M. J., Johns, C. L., Long, D. L., Zirnstein, M., Tooley, K. M., and Jonathan, E. (2012). Individual differences in eye-movements during reading: Working memory and speed-of-processing effects. Journal of Eye Movement Research 5: 1–16.

Underwood, G, Hubbard, A., and Wilkinson, H. (1990). Eye fixations predict reading comprehension: The relationships between reading skill, reading speed, and visual inspection. Language and Speech 33: 69–81.

Wade, S. E. and Adams, B. (1990). Effects of importance and interest on recall of biographical texts. JRB: A Journal of Literacy 22: 331–353.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email: [email protected]

Privacy Policy