Hard-to-read fonts make for better learning, scientists say

Those reading harder fonts are better at recalling text in a study


In Princeton University study, paid volunteers were asked to learn fictional information about different types of aliens; those reading harder fonts recalled more when tested 15 minutes later, the BBC reports. The 28 volunteers had 90 seconds to try to memorize a list of seven features from three different types of aliens, an effort to re-create learning that happens in a biology class. One group looked at the lists in 16-point Arial pure black font, thought of as easy to read, while the other looked at it either in 12-point Comic Sans MS 75% greyscale, or 12-point Bodoni MT 75% greyscale. On average, those with the harder-to-read fonts remembered 14% more.

BBC News

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Hard-to-read fonts make for better learning, scientists say

  1. Ugh. I just complained to a publisher about this crap. For those of us with poor eyesight, those fussy fonts are painful to read.

  2. Memorization has everything to do with attending to the subject. If you have to concentrate harder, you are more apt to remember the subject you are studying. Thus it makes sense that if it takes more effort to read the subject matter, you might read it several times and think about it more and remember it because you have attended to it more.

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