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Study wrongly suggests iPad readers skim, show poor retention

newspaper

Miratech conducted a study that compared the way people read a newspaper with the way they read on the iPad. The research used reading time, gaze patterns and eye movement to discern any difference between the two mediums. The study concluded that people concentrate more on the content and remember an article better when they read the newspaper.

This result is tantalizing and may seem to bolster the opinion that the iPad is a toy, while the newspaper is where people turn for their real news. Before you toss the iPad in the trash, this survey has two major flaws. First, the authors don't tell us how many people participated in the survey. It could be 50 or 5,000. This number is important as the smaller the sample size, the larger the margin of error.

Also, the authors admit they had participants read similar information from a newspaper first and then from its iPad version. No wonder people only skimmed an article on an iPad -- they just read it in the newspaper! I wonder if the results would have been different if the researchers reversed this order and handed people an iPad first and a newspaper second.

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