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Speed of Processing

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How Speed of Processing connects to...

Speed of Processing is the rate at which we perceive and process information and formulate an appropriate response. Higher processing skills are indicative of how quickly and efficiently we can complete tasks. This is especially true for reading and Numeracy as we are perceiving and processing an incredible array of information—letters, numbers, words, punctuation, layout—and have to choose and apply the right skills to understand it all.

Main Ideas

Speed of Processing influences:

  • The rate at which learners can recognize and pronounce words;
  • The rate at which learners can accurately read, write and comprehend text;
  • The ability of learners to process and comprehend online texts;
  • How well learners can follow directions for a given task; and
  • How well learners can make plans and use Problem Solving skills.

Speed of Processing begins to decline in early adulthood. Declines in other cognitive functions may be attributed to this age-related decline of Speed of Processing. This may be particularly true for executive functions such as Working Memory. Adults with learning disabilities or ADHD may be slower to process information, which may contribute to difficulties in the classroom and workplace. Providing learners with extra time and space to process can support their success.

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