GERNSBACHER, M. A. (1993). Less skilled readers have less efficient suppression mechanisms. Psychological Science, 4, 294-298.
One approach to understanding the component processes and mechanisms underlying adult reading skill is to compare the performance of more skilled and less skilled readers on laboratory experiments. The results of some recent experiments employing this approach demonstrate that less skilled adult readers suppress less efficiently the inappropriate meanings of ambiguous words (e.g., the playing card vs. garden tool meaning of spade. ), the incorrect forms of homophones (e.g., patients vs. patience), the typical-but-absent members of scenes (e.g., a tractor in a farm scene), and words superimposed on pictures. Less skilled readers are not less efficient in activating contextually appropriate information; in fact, they activate contextually appropriate information more strongly than more skilled readers do. Therefore, one conclusion that can be drawn from these experiments is that less skilled adult readers suffer from less efficient suppression mechanisms.