Katherine S. Binder

Professor of Psychology


  • B.A., Southern Illinois University
  • M.A., University of South Carolina
  • Ph.D., University of South Carolina

Courses Taught

  • Experimental Methods
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Lab in Cognition
  • Seminar in Cognition: Inhibition


My research concerns how the language processing system uses different forms of contextual information during the process of reading. Generally, I have examined this issue by investigating how context influences different forms of ambiguity that exist in the language. For example, I have looked at lexically ambiguous words (e.g. pitcher), phonologically ambiguous items (hare and hair), idiomatic phrases that have both a literal and figurative interpretation (e.g. kick the bucket), and syntactically ambiguous phrases (e.g. visiting relativse can be a pain). I am trying to develop a more principled account of how context works during the reading process. Further, I am trying to figure out how different forms of context influence different stages of word processing in reading. That is, some forms of context may help us get to the meaning of the word, while other forms of context help with integrating that information into the discourse representation of what we are reading.

Recent Publications

Binder, K.S., & Borecki, C. (in press). The use of phonological, orthographic, and contextual information during reading: A comparison of adults who are learning to read and skilled adult readers. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

Binder, K.S., Chace, K., & Manning, M.C. (in press). Context Effects on the Naming Speed of Target Words in Less Skilled and More Skilled Adult Readers. Journal of Research in Reading.

Deutsch, F.M., Kokot, A.P., & Binder, K.S. (in press). Plans for an egalitarian marriage. Journal of Marriage and Family.

Binder, K.S. (2003). The influence of local and global context: An eye movement and lexical ambiguity investigation. Memory and Cognition, 31, 690-702.

Thompkins, A.C., & Binder, K.S. (2003). A comparison of the factors affecting reading performance of functionally illiterate adults and children matched by reading level. Reading Research Quarterly, 38, 236-258.