Lay Knowledge of Dyslexia


This study looks at the extent to which lay people believe many myths associated with dyslexia. It examined attitudes and beliefs about the causes, manifestations and treatments for dyslexia in a British population sample. A community sample of 380 participants (158 Male; 212 Female) completed a 62-item questionnaire on their attitudes to, and beliefs about, dyslexia. The statements were derived from various “dyslexia facts and myths” websites set up to help people understand dyslexia; academic research papers; and in-depth exploratory interviews with non-specialist people regarding their understanding of dyslexia. Item analysis showed participants were poorly informed about many aspects of dyslexia. Factor analysis returned a structure of latent attitudes in five factors (Characteristics, Biological and Social Causes, Treatment and Prevention). Regression analysis revealed that participant political orientation and education (formal and informal acquaintances with dyslexia sufferers) were the best predictors of attitudes concerning the behavioural manifestations, aetiology and treatments of dyslexia. Limitations and implications of this research were considered.

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Furnham, A. (2013). Lay Knowledge of Dyslexia. Psychology, 4, 940-949. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.412136.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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