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The influence of hyperlinks on reading on the web: an empirical approach

Fitzsimmons, Gemma (2017) The influence of hyperlinks on reading on the web: an empirical approach University of Southampton, School of Psychology, Doctoral Thesis , 231pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)


We increasingly spend a vast amount of time on the Web and much of that time is spent reading. One of the main differences between reading non-Web based text and reading on the Web is the presence of hyperlinks within the text, linking various related Web content and webpages together. Some researchers and commentators have claimed that hyperlinks hinder reading because they are a distraction that may have a negative effect on the reader’s ability to process the text. However, very few controlled experiments have been conducted to verify these claims. In the experiments documented here we utilise eye tracking as a new methodology for examining how we read hyperlinked text. During reading we move our eyes in order to bring new information into our fovea where the highest visual acuity is present. There is a well-documented tight link between when and where we look and what we process. By measuring eye movements,we can gain insights into the ongoing cognitive processing that is occurring during a task. Eye movements have been used extensively to help us to understand the cognitive processing that occurs during reading, but there has been very little research into how our reading differs when we read information on the Web.Therefore, in this thesis we examine the influences of hyperlinks on reading on the Web

Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
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Published date: January 2017
Organisations: University of Southampton, Psychology


Local EPrints ID: 404612
PURE UUID: 31f8a6cd-0170-41bb-981b-74ddf2fff487
ORCID for Gemma Fitzsimmons: ORCID iD
ORCID for Mark Weal: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 27 Jan 2017 16:34
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:32

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Author: Gemma Fitzsimmons ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Denis Drieghe
Thesis advisor: Mark Weal ORCID iD

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