Multiple models and multiple perspectives approaches in modelling eye-movements in reading

Richard Shillcock

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

What is the relationship between the eight published, implemented models of eye-movements (EMs) in reading? Arguably, they resemble the “Multiple Models” paradigm in the philosophy of science: collectively they typically provide more information than each does individually (e.g., E-Z Reader and SWIFT together define the envelope for research on parallel versus serial processing.), and they peacefully co-exist. Further, EM modelling resembles the strategy of abstraction [Levins, 2006, Biology and Philosophy, 21, 741-755] in which each model specifies something of the ordered relations between the entities in the domain, by providing a view of the domain from a different perspective (defined across “extent”, “vantage point”, and “generalizability”). However, it is unclear how many models are required to approach a comprehensive picture of reading. Deeper problems are that this approach (a) cannot produce a particular research program that can be continually improved in detail, and (b) does not produce a single, deep explanation of the essence of the processing. An answer is suggested based on the ontological status of the entities in the models, which can be universals of two types, “abstract” or “concrete”, differing with respect to philosophical realism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-187
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Eye Movement Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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