Selected Papers of the IRIS, Issue Nr 6 (2015)


This study reports the results of an experiment for studying the reading experience on digital media using frontal electroencephalographic (EEG) alpha asymmetry, an index of approach/withdrawal motivation. Natural reading of a newspaper on the traditional print medium and a tablet computer were compared. Reading the print newspaper induced relatively greater left frontal cortical activation, suggesting higher approach motivation during reading on paper than on a tablet. The observed differences are moderated by individual differences in personality type (BIS/BAS scales), reading style, and experience with a tablet computer. BAS Drive and Fun Seeking subscales showed a significant negative effect on frontal EEG asymmetry when reading on tablet; increases in the Drive and Fun Seeking scores predicted lower approach motivation. In addition, the analysis of reading profile and demographics showed that focused readers experienced greater approach motivation during reading the print newspaper and a higher experience with a tablet computer was not found congruent with higher approach motivation during reading on a tablet. Implications for information systems research and design practice are discussed.