Progress in Understanding Reading

Scientific Foundations and New Frontiers

Keith E. Stanovich

April 20, 2000
ISBN 9781572305649
Price: $118.00
536 Pages
Size: 6⅛" x 9¼"
April 21, 2000
ISBN 9781572305656
Price: $63.00
536 Pages
Size: 6⅛" x 9¼"

The last 25 years have seen tremendous advances in the study of psychological processes in reading. Our growing body of knowledge on the reading process and reading acquisition has applications to such important problems as the prevention of reading difficulties and the identification of effective instructional practices. This volume summarizes the gains that have been made in key areas of reading research and provides authoritative insights on current controversies and debates. From one of the most accomplished and widely cited scholars in the field, the volume is divided into seven parts. Each part begins with a new introductory chapter presenting up-to-date findings on the topic at hand, followed by one or more classic papers from the author's exemplary research program. Significant issues covered include phonological processes and context effects in reading, the “reading wars” and how they should be resolved, the meaning of the term “dyslexia,” and the cognitive effects and benefits of reading.

“This book is a tour de force in which Keith Stanovich reflects on his lifetime of pioneering research in the field of reading acquisition and disabilities. Presented are classic papers published over more than two decades, together with lucid discussions of Stanovich's current thinking on each topic. Readers gain the rare opportunity to observe how a scientist of this caliber develops his ideas and arguments over time, and why. Of particular relevance to readers interested in language and literacy disabilities are Stanovich's arguments for using theories of normal processing to constrain theories of reading disability; his case for seeing phonological problems as the source of most reading disabilities; and the evidence he presents on how the gap between poor and good readers widens with age.”

—Judith F. Duchan, PhD, State University of New York at Buffalo

“This superbly written work will serve as a monument to many of the late 20th century's remarkable scientific achievements in the field of reading acquisition and reading disabilities. It is also a moving personal testament to an exceptionally creative scientist, profound thinker, and humanist. The volume will be an invaluable resource for graduate students and researchers in education and psychology, as it reveals not only many of the psychological mysteries of reading, but also the inner workings of the practice of science.”

—David L. Share, PhD, Faculty of Education, University of Haifa, Israel

“Keith Stanovich weaves many of his important papers into a splendid tapestry of programmatic research.”

—Philip B. Gough, PhD, Barbara Pierce Bush Regents Professor, University of Texas at Austin

“Keith Stanovich takes us on a personal tour of nearly 25 years of research and controversy in reading. We get some of his best papers—papers very important to the field—reprinted in one volume. The new material that interleaves these papers gives rich inside views on the process of research and its historical and social contexts. The 'Best of Stanovich,' as one would expect, is very good indeed.”

—Charles A. Perfetti, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Linguistics, University of Pittsburgh

Table of Contents


Foreword, Isabel L. Beck


I. The Role of Context Effects in Models of Reading

1. Early Applications of Information Processing Concepts to the Study of Reading: The Role of Sentence Context

2. Automatic Contextual Facilitation in Readers of Three Ages

Richard F. West and Keith E. Stanovich

3. Toward an Interactive Compensatory Model of Individual Differences in the Development of Reading Fluency

4. The Interactive Compensatory Model of Reading: A Confluence of Developmental, Experimental, and Educational Psychology

II. Phonological Sensitivity and the Phonological Core Deficit Model

5. Early Reading Acquisition and the Causes of Reading Difficulty: Contributions to Research on Phonological Processing

6. Assessing Phonological Awareness in Kindergarten Children: Issues of Task


with Anne E. Cunningham and Barbara Cramer

7. Explaining the Differences between the Dyslexic and the Garden-Variety Poor Reader: The Phonological-Core Variable-Difference Model

8. The Phenotypic Performance Profile of Reading-Disabled Children: A Regression-Based Test of the Phonological-Core Variable-Difference Model

with Linda S. Siegel

III. Matthew Effects in Reading

9. Tying It All Together: A Model of Reading Acquisition and Reading Difficulty

10. Matthew Effects in Reading: Some Consequences of Individual Differences in the Acquisition of Literacy

IV. The Importance of Word Recognition in Models of Reading

11. The Word Recognition Module

12. Concepts in Developmental Theories of Reading Skill: Cognitive Resources, Automaticity, and Modularity

V. The Cognitive Consequences of Literacy

13. Measuring Print Exposure: Attempts to Empirically Track "Rich Get

Richer" Effects

14. Exposure to Print and Orthographic Processing,

with Richard F. West

15. Does Reading Make You Smarter?: Literacy and the Development of Verbal Intelligence

16. Literacy Experiences and the Shaping of Cognition, Stanovich,

with Anne E. Cunningham and Richard F. West

VI. Discrepancy Definitions of Reading Disability

17. Reading Disability Classification: Are Reforms Based on Evidence Possible?

18. Discrepancy Definitions of Reading Disability: Has Intelligence Led Us Astray?

VII. The Reading Instruction Debate: Comments on the "Reading Wars"

19. Putting Children First by Putting Science First: The Politics of Early Reading Instruction

20. Romance and Reality

21. 25 Years of Research on the Reading Process: The Grand Synthesis and What It Means for Our Field

About the Author

Keith E. Stanovich , PhD, is currently Professor of Human Development and Applied Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. He is the only two-time winner of the Albert J. Harris Award from the International Reading Association for influential articles on reading. In 1995 he was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame as the youngest member of that honorary society. In 1996 he was given the Oscar Causey Award from the National Reading Conference for contributions to research, and in 1997 he was given the Sylvia Scribner Award from the American Educational Research Association. Stanovich is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Divisions 3 & 15), the American Psychological Society, and the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities, and is a Charter Member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading. He was a member of the Committee on the Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children of National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences. He is the author or editor of two previous books.


Teacher educators and graduate students in literacy education; reading specialists; staff developers; classroom teachers; policymakers focusing on reading.

Will serve as a text in graduate-level courses on the psychology of reading, lanaguage and cognition, psycholinguistics and reading, and reading acquisition.

Course Use

Will serve as a text in graduate-level courses on the psychology of reading, lanaguage and cognition, psycholinguistics and reading, and reading acquisition.