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[Graphics] MISC: Hard to read, easy to remember

From: Michael Brady <bradydesign-AT-embarqmail.com>
Date: 18 Jan 2011 00:44:53 UTC   (07:44:53 PM in author's locale)
To: indesign-talk-AT-googlegroups.com
In the Princeton journal Cognition, researchers argue that the easier it is to read a document tends to make it easier to forget, while the more difficult it is, the more the brain has to work to educe the meaning of the document, the easier it is to remember.

Long URL:
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The abstract: "Previous research has shown that disfluency – the subjective experience of difficulty associated with cognitive operations – leads to deeper processing. Two studies explore the extent to which this deeper processing engendered by disfluency interventions can lead to improved memory performance. Study 1 found that information in hard-to-read fonts was better remembered than easier to read information in a controlled laboratory setting. Study 2 extended this finding to high school classrooms. The results suggest that superficial changes to learning materials could yield significant improvements in educational outcomes."

For the difficult (or "disfluent") material, the first study used text set in ... wait, wait ... yes! ... 12-pt Comic Sans and 12-pt Bodoni, both at 60% gray; for the easier ("fluent") material, the study used 16-pt Arial in 100% black. In the second study, the disfluent text was set in either Comic Sans Italicized, Hattenschweiler, or Monotype Corsiva.

RIP, Beatrice Warde.

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Michael Brady
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