Who we are

Welcome to the website of the Reading Comprehension Lab at Northwestern University!

Comprehending and learning from texts we read, conversations we participate in, maps we study, and presentations we view requires unlocking the meanings associated with ideas, words, images, icons, and grammar. Research in our laboratory focuses on the nature of such comprehension by describing the activities and processes that comprise it. We also seek to facilitate these activities and processes by understanding comprehension difficulties and, with that knowledge, designing effective learning interventions.

Our work examines human memory and language to (a) identify the underlying cognitive processes that operate in the service of our everyday comprehension experiences, (b) elucidate conditions that influence the likelihood of successful comprehension, and (c) develop interventions to foster comprehension success. The unifying theme of our work is that basic research on cognition can find its application in educational settings, and work in the learning sciences can directly inform theories of comprehension.


Lab News!

Check out David Rapp’s Washington Post article on the challenge with “debunking” inaccuracies (using a recent example with the late president George H. W. Bush)  here.

David Rapp and Amalia Donovan’s recently published article on the consequences of relying on inaccurate information was cited by a Rhode Island congressman in a speech as part of the congressional record!

Congratulations to David Rapp and Nikita Salovich on their recent publication in PIBBS! Linked here.


Interested in the lab?

Are you an enthusiastic, driven undergraduate who is interested in cognitive-based research on learning, reading, and memory? Please reach out to Principal Investigator David Rapp (rapp@northwestern.edu) with a resume and inquiries about lab experience opportunities.

Prospective PhD students interested in applying to work with Professor David Rapp for the 2020-2019 school year (either in Learning Sciences or Cognitive Psychology) are encouraged to contact him directly with inquiries.