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Hard-to-Read Fonts Improve Learning

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the slashdot-design-philosophy-revealed dept.

Education 175

arkenian writes "Difficult-to-read fonts make for better learning, according to scientists. The finding is about to be published in the international journal Cognition. Researchers at Princeton University employed volunteers to learn made-up information about different types of aliens — and found that those reading harder fonts recalled more when tested 15 minutes later. The article goes on to note a second test in a real school environment: 'Keen to see if their findings actually worked in practice, the Princeton University team then tested their results on 222 students aged between 15 and 18 at a secondary school in Chesterfield, Ohio.'... 'Students given the harder-to-read materials scored higher in their classroom assessments than those in the control group. This was the case across a range of subjects — from English, to Physics to History.'"

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Comic Sans (2, Informative)

zonker (1158) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994852)

But Comic Sans still makes you look stupid.

Re:Comic Sans (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33994958)

I think you're a Jew hater.

Re:Comic Sans (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995256)

Indeed I am. Fuck the kikes. Posting anonymously for obvious reasons, as slashdot has been taken over by that bignosed cunt kdawson and he would probably sue me.

Re:Comic Sans (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995296)

(-1, Redundant). Not (-1, Troll) or (-1, Flamebait) or even (-1, Offtopic), it is Redundant, as in it was so obvious that it didn't need to be said.

Wow, slashdot moderation sure is something!

Re:Comic Sans (1)

Forge (2456) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995476)

I wonder how well Pink text on Yellow paper will work?

Comic Times New Roman, anyone? (1)

DamonHD (794830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994854)

This does seem counter-intuitive: when I lay out text I try to make it as easy to read as possible to avoid getting in the way of absorbing the content...

Rgds

Damon

Re:Comic Times New Roman, anyone? (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994878)

I think it's obvious (heh heh) that it forces you to think about the content in order to read it, when using a font which requires no conscious thought to process results in more flow with less processing and thus less retention. Perhaps future systems will sense the user's level of interest and change fonts dynamically to keep them learning.

Re:Comic Times New Roman, anyone? (0)

DamonHD (794830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994952)

Now there's a disturbing thought! B^>

Rgds

Damon

Re:Comic Times New Roman, anyone? (3, Insightful)

rts008 (812749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995074)

Pay no attention to 'WindWraith'. You're doing it right.

*shakes fist at 'WindWraith' for discouraging good behavior/mindset*

I envy youth and their good eyesight. Hell, I miss my own good eyesight when I was younger!

As an 'older than dirt, had to fight dinosaurs on my ten mile trek[one way] UPHILL, in a blizzard/sandstorm- both ways! to school everyday' crowd, I appreciate your efforts and way of thinking about web page design.

As an avid reader, I appreciate good text fonts both in real paper books, and various forms of e-books.
Tri-focal lenses, macular degeneration, and just plain old age changes your perspective and outlook!

I frequently read some comments here regarding screen resolution[and similar], and am struck with both amusement and envy. I seem to ask myself EVERY time two questions anymore:
How do they even see/distinguish crap that small?
Why are they going through that hassle?
Damn, I'm REALLY getting old!

BTW, if you are reading this reply, 'WindWraith', please take the comment as 'tongue-in-cheek' humour/sarcasm.
You do provide a valid and insightful comment about memories, IMHO.

Oh yeah, obligatory...
Hey you young punks, get off my lawn!

Re:Comic Times New Roman, anyone? (0, Troll)

crenshawsgc (1228894) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995370)

Hey asshole, you know slashdot has sig tags so you 1) dont have to type it out every time 2) so we can turn that shit off and not read your shit if we dont want regards your mom

Re:Comic Times New Roman, anyone? (2, Insightful)

DamonHD (794830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33996172)

Possibly unlike you I like to type it out each time to remind myself that I'm communicating with real human beings with opinions and egos and values of their own. Putting it in a sig would be like the plastic smiles and pre-recorded ersatz "have a nice day" of some establishments.

If you don't understand the virtue of remembering to treat humans as humans each time, then I suggest that you take your insult back and shove it somewhere.

Damon

Re:Comic Times New Roman, anyone? (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994928)

Makes sense actually, the more effort you use on it, the easier for you to remember.
It's like you don't remember all your trips to your job except that one time you had a stomachache or were very sleepy or stuff like that.
"Damn, this whole text about was a pain to read!"

Re:Comic Times New Roman, anyone? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33994972)

In this case, the readers had to read the darn thing. In normal cases I figure a reader would stop reading if it was difficult or not enjoyable.

Re:Comic Times New Roman, anyone? (4, Insightful)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994982)

Because it seems counter-intuitive, I really liked the following sentence:

...Keen to see if their findings actually worked in practice..."

Often times we see studies done in labs and, because it doesn't look reasonable to us, we quickly dismiss it by saying "Well, it would never work in real life." Here, at least, they tried it in real life. It's not a long-term study, so there are still shortcomings, but it's better than the usual Social Studies experiments.

Re:Comic Times New Roman, anyone? (2, Funny)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995360)

Time to format those TPS reports with wing-dings...

But if you keep reading text in Wingdings, (2, Funny)

abhishekupadhya (1228010) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994858)

you'll be called a dingbat.

Long term effect? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33994862)

I'd like to know the long term effect of this. What if the brain develops a better comprehension of the hard-to-read fonts, rendering all the re-printing meaningless?

Think bigger! (4, Funny)

Barny (103770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994864)

Lets just write all text books in captchas.

Re:Think bigger! (2, Interesting)

sqldr (838964) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995050)

I'm sorry, but typing one word in to get at pr0n is hard enough work. If you want me to type in the entirety of "death of a salesman" or "the Da Vinci code" then I'm leaving the internet.

Re:Think bigger! (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995212)

Forget typing it, the poor lil bastards have to try and read it, line after line.

If this information is really correct then that will make them all geniuses.

Re:Think bigger! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995596)

It's not correct.

"MedlinePlus and the National Institutes of Health define dyslexia as "a reading disability resulting from the inability to process graphic symbols".[20]"

s0 Y0u hAVE g0T t0 bE kIDdINg mE tHAT A sCRAmbLED foNT HElps YOu t0 lEARN.

Re:Think bigger! (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33996022)

It's not correct.

"MedlinePlus and the National Institutes of Health define dyslexia as "a reading disability resulting from the inability to process graphic symbols".[20]"

s0 Y0u hAVE g0T t0 bE kIDdINg mE tHAT A sCRAmbLED foNT HElps YOu t0 lEARN.

I think the point is that it helps someone focus. When they see a font they're used to (or hear a familiar voice), it's easy to attempt to function on auto-pilot while really thinking about something else. When faced with something new (but familiar), the brain needs more focus, and a double-check to make sure that the signal was interpreted correctly, so you're thinking about the message to make sure you heard/read correctly. I wonder if making people wear earmuffs or noise cancellation headgear would improve their memories of a speech.

Re:Think bigger! (2, Insightful)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995348)

I scared that you think "The da Vinci Code" is a textbook, or even something which might be used in English Literature classes. Very scared.

Re:Think bigger! (2, Interesting)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995430)

You obviously haven't been in a public school English class recently. The good teachers are still good, but then you've got the "fresh from school and wanting to seem hip" teachers that will have you read something that's popular but substance-less to try to connect with you on your level, and you've also got the absolute idiot teachers who will have you read it and then write an essay on it so that they can finally understand the plots themselves. In case you think this is a total joke, the teacher who taught honors English in my high school had the class read "A Walk To Remember" and then watch the movie. She was a complete and total joke, and she was better than most of the English teachers at the school.

Re:Think bigger! (2, Informative)

liquiddark (719647) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995588)

Trying to get people to connect with literature on their own level is the very definition of a good English teacher, at least in the pre-grad-school-prep phase of english language study. If you can't understand the subject under study on your own terms there is literally no point in studying it for other reasons.

Re:Think bigger! (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995948)

Agreed, but that's best accomplished by having the students read goodliterature that they connect with, possibly with the help of the teacher. Pride and prejudice is a great book as long as you can understand what's going on. If a teacher is going to have the students read a novel about relationships they can have the students read that one and bridge the cultural divide rather than have them read a terrible novel that nobody will remember in five years and help them appreciate the classics at the same time.

Re:Think bigger! (1)

sqldr (838964) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995738)

Sorry.. you're right.

To quote Stephen Fry, "it's absolute arse gravy".

The only people who should be forced to read it are the catholic church, just to see how offended they get.

Re:Think bigger! (1)

sqldr (838964) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995794)

For our american readers, you're probably aware of Hugh Laurie who plays the part of an alcoholic doctor in "house"

The two people used to be an intellectual comedy >duo in a British show called "Fry and Laurie".
Fry is an intellect, manic depressive,rational gay bloke, and has more followers on twitter than anybody else in the world

He also played the part of the Duke of Wellington in the 3rd series of "blackadder" which has been shown in America, but apparently you didn't find it funny. Winston Churchill described us as "two nations separated by a common language", but what?!!? blackadder is genius. maybe you need to watch it twice :-)

Re:Think bigger! (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995884)

Pedant: He's not alcoholic. He was addicted to pain killers.

Re:Think bigger! (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995892)

Eddie Izzard, however, once described us as being two nations separated by a common language and a lot of fish. Far more complete.

Don't forget _Peter's Friend's_, btw, another great Laurie/Fry collaboration movie (also including Brannaugh and many other great actors - and Tony Slattery).

Re:Think bigger! (1)

Jartan (219704) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995894)

Sounds like an improvement to me. Better than "The Grapes of Wrath" for sure. At least your average high school student might actually READ "The da Vinci Code".

Re:Think bigger! (2, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33996052)

Sounds like an improvement to me. Better than "The Grapes of Wrath" for sure. At least your average high school student might actually READ "The da Vinci Code".

But your average high school student might actually BELIEVE "The da Vinci Code". I'd rather have them believe "The Grapes of Wrath".

long term versus short term (1)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994868)

i can't see if the school study was a long term one or not. and i think it's relevant for the conclusion.

Wingdings (0, Redundant)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994870)

nuf sed

Not a surprise (5, Insightful)

trifish (826353) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994872)

Instead of skimming, you are forced to actually read every word.

Skimming is for getting an idea of what to expect to learn. Reading is for the actual learning.

Re:Not a surprise (2, Interesting)

obarel (670863) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995022)

Yes, I had history textbooks with unreadable tiny font. No, it didn't make me a master of history, it just made me sleepy as I struggled to stay focussed AND fight the tiny font. Not much of it made its way into my brain, as I soon fell asleep.

No idea how I passed the exam, I wouldn't be able to tell you what was in those books.

Re:Not a surprise (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995618)

... not to mention those places were the author(s) were clearly unable to articulate an idea.

If you have to reread a phrase 20 times, and it's NOT because of some jargon you've never seen before... the editor failed to do their job.

Re:Not a surprise (3, Funny)

tonycheese (921278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995142)

Nothing is ever a surprise to the Slashdot crowd when they publish a study on it. Except, of course, when "correlation != causation!!!!!".

I happen to find this extremely counter-intuitive.

Re:Not a surprise (4, Funny)

MagicM (85041) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995890)

I happen to find this extremely counter-intuitive.

I knew you would.

I think you accidently your sentence.... (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995156)

Skimming is for getting an idea of what to expect to learn.

I agree with what you meant. I find myself affected by this phenomenon as well.
When you have education/knowledge, it becomes easy to fill in the blanks.

The human mind is under a two-edged sword.
It is our greatest strength, and our greatest weakness.
We can adapt and overcome, but we can also become adapted to some of the most fscked conditions.

I rationalise it as 'survival instinct'/evolution.

Re:Not a surprise (1)

Bryan3000000 (1356999) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995900)

This might help explain why people with dyslexia are as a whole frequently perceived to have somewhat greater intelligence than might be expected. They are forced to pay attention to their environment when they cannot read, and they are forced to pay more attention to what they are reading when they can read.

Re:Not a surprise (1)

Deep Esophagus (686515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995946)

That may be true for people motivated to learn, but does it take into account those with a short attention span? I have found when I am reading text that is difficult to comprehend for one reason or another, my mind tends to just gloss over the parts that don't make sense and I can't recall a word of it ten minutes later.

CAPTCHA (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994876)

So will be be running all learning material through CAPTCHA generator ? :-)

Re:CAPTCHA (1)

Skeptic Ace (1274870) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995080)

So will be be running all learning material through CAPTCHA generator ?

Only if the font is that knockoff of Helvetica, damn I hate that font. Anything to keep all the letters from looking the same!

Maybe they're misinterpreting the results (4, Interesting)

stalkedlongtime (1630997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994882)

If you're asking someone to absorb fluff (like nonsense about aliens) then perhaps it's a good idea to manufacture 'disfluency' with odd fonts and the like.

If you're asking someone to absorb difficult material (like Knuth or advanced physics) then you want to minimize other sources of 'disfluency'.

Re:Maybe they're misinterpreting the results (2, Informative)

Orgasmatron (8103) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994920)

That word [wikipedia.org] . I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:Maybe they're misinterpreting the results (0, Troll)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995624)

Ahem...

"disfluency" != "speech disfluency"

You'll notice there's another word there: 'speech'

Re:Maybe they're misinterpreting the results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33994926)

Let me tell you, aliens are no nonsense, and they also happen to like fluff. And also, booze.

Re:Maybe they're misinterpreting the results (2, Insightful)

ZirconCode (1477363) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994940)

Theres also a difference of the persons willingness to learn. A person will only try to learn deeper material, ex. Knuth, if they want to, in which case they will. If the person is however forced to learn the US Consitution amendments by memory, theres a small chance that they will. Unless theyre a lawyer of course, in which case its a totally acceptable thing to do. Of Course.

Re:Maybe they're misinterpreting the results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995012)

Bogus headline, or bogus research, or maybe both.

Re:Maybe they're misinterpreting the results (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995280)

Bogus headline, or bogus research, or maybe both.

Uncle Bogus has been CAPTCHAd by aliens.

  His handwriting was bad; however, this is ridiculous.

Re:Maybe they're misinterpreting the results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995226)

Or maybe Comic Sans is a better font than we typography purists thought it was. Note in particular that students were given a fixed time, so they didn't read the Comic Sans lines slower than normal text. To me, that proves that as they were forced to read normal text faster than they could properly discern it, they missed things they did not miss in normal text. Hence, the conclusion follows that Comic Sans is easier to read, and that there's a possibility that font size doesn't actually matter all that much for students, and hence we can save on paper.
Now, speculating on why Comic Sans is such a good font, I'm guessing it boils down to the exaggerated and distinct glyph shapes. There are some antiqua fonts with the same property, I wonder how the students would fare with those. Also, if the "researchers" wanted to test the effects of low readability, why didn't they use a fraktur font? Clearly, more research is needed and it was very irresponsible to publish this study and their conclusions in its present form.

Re:Maybe they're misinterpreting the results (1)

ericferris (1087061) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995808)

I think you are up on to something here. The conclusions are based on the assumption that Arial is the easier to read font.

Well, it's bunk. Arial sucks dead rabbit eyes. It is a poor derivative of the universally derided Helvetica, itself designed only for short signs and since there overabused. Arial is NOT easy to read. Capital i and lowercase L look the same (lI), not to mention a few other glyphs.

Bodoni is much easier to read. It has been selected by a few companies (IBM notably) as the official communication font because it was shown as... wait for it... easier to read than many others.

So Bodoni _is_ considered by many as one of the most readable fonts. This invalidates the whole premises of the conclusion.

Re:Maybe they're misinterpreting the results (2, Informative)

ET3D (1169851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995868)

You comment shows that you should change the font on your browser to something less readable, since you completely missed the part about the research done on highschool children with actual real world material.

Printed or On Screen? (4, Interesting)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994912)

The comparative readability of Arial is not the same on-screen and on paper. Here's the account in the Economist: Learning difficulties [economist.com] . It mentions "tests" that had determined readability, but alas no reference to the specific study.

Re:Printed or On Screen? (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995018)

Certainly on the font sample presented on the BBC site, the Arial font version was a lot *harder* to read because it was all crushed up without enough leading.

Re:Printed or On Screen? (4, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995612)

More important than that: the font samples provided online were wrong. The test was a comparison between Comic Sans and Bodoni, which is a modernist serif typeface commonly used in the titles of fashion magazines and for the main text in (ugh) my physiology textbook. I had wondered why, since its elegance is grating after a while—I guess I know now, which means this study is already old news. Wikipedia on Bodoni [wikipedia.org] .

What if the S's look like F's? (3, Funny)

Shag (3737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994914)

Lots of people can remember things that were written in fancy script, like parts of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution*.

Come to think of it, this bodes well for my kid's lousy writing - people will at least remember what she wrote, once they decipher it.

*Exception made for Christine O'Donnell

Re:What if the S's look like F's? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995004)

Come to think of it, this bodes well for my kid's lousy writing

That'll be an advantage if she wants to go to med school.

Re:What if the S's look like F's? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995628)

Speak for yourself. I can hardly pick out the start and ends of words in that chicken scratch.

Re:What if the S's look like F's? (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995916)

> Lots of people can remember things that were written in fancy script,
> like parts of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution*.

However, they do not learn it by reading the versions of the US constitution that are written in fancy script. They usually learn it by reading a it in a textbook that is set in a fairly standard font.

I think they have it backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33994950)

Am I the only one here who can't stand the Arial font and has always found it difficult to read? The extremely tight spacing makes it very hard to separate letters (particularly with the mouse) and it is also tough to make out Ifijlt. Comic Sans is actually a pretty easy to read font. As is Bodoni, although I'd never heard of it before now.

I think their study may actually point to the opposite conclusion, that you learn better with easier to read fonts.

It carries over... (1)

Krokus (88121) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994954)

This must be why people listen to death metal and avoid that easy listening garbage. They are aspiring musicians.

Dear Slashdot (4, Funny)

Alsee (515537) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994968)

Slashdot please allow me to post in Wingdings font and Symbol font. Posting in Italics TT does not make it not hard enough to read.

-

don't rewrite textbooks in Comic Sans just yet ... (2, Interesting)

ekrock (736908) | more than 3 years ago | (#33994974)

There are a few more questions to answer. (1) How long did subjects spend reading the Comic Sans documents vs. the Arial documents? If they spent more time reading the Comic Sans documents, that could explain the difference. (2) If they spent longer reading the Comic Sans versions, what was their net learning productivity after factoring the additional time in? (3) Could novelty explain the effect by obtaining greater attention? If we reprinted all textbooks in Comic Sans and similar fonts from hell, would the effect go away? (4) What would be the effect on children of a childhood spent reading books in Comic Sans? Would they be willing to put up with reading if all their books were printed in fonts designed to slow and torment the reader?

The only way you'll get my Arial is by prying it out of my cold, dead hands!!!

The invention and proliferation of Comic Sans was essentially an accident. This study takes "unintended consequences" to a whole new level!

Re:don't rewrite textbooks in Comic Sans just yet (2, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995158)

Arial? Verdana, my friend. Arial is a cheap whore compared to the lady Verdana. Guess why Arial was created by Microsoft originally?

Re:don't rewrite textbooks in Comic Sans just yet (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995416)

Arial? Verdana, my friend. Arial is a cheap whore compared to the lady Verdana. Guess why Arial was created by Microsoft originally?

It wasn't created by Microsoft. It was originally made for IBM by Monotype in the early 80s, when it was known as Sonoran Sans (similarly, Times New Roman was originally called Sonoran Serif). Microsoft then licensed these from Monotype and renamed them Arial and TNR, respectively. But don't let little facts get in the way of your hatred of Microsoft.

Re:don't rewrite textbooks in Comic Sans just yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995590)

apple/linux fanboi loses once again, epic win!

Small Font BS, Bunk Study (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33994990)

Wait until your 50. The only thing small fonts do is make your head burn out in 2 hours, and oh yeah that DTV Channel Master, I can't read a damn thing unless I am two feet away from the set. But your test was 18 yr old kids, they'll have perfect vision and be awake three days at a time. The whole premise here is BS , next you'll be telling us Graffiti Fonts are the best for working with the asm disassembler..

What aout web sites ? (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995010)

So should I make my web sites hard to read in the hope that potential customers will remember more about what is being shown to them ? Or will they just leave earlier as it is too much hard work; or perhaps remember the stuff but not where they saw it ?

Seems like (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995014)

it's just a case of forcing the subjects to pay more attention.

Genius (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995020)

I'll change all my browser fonts to Windings and than i'll read the whole Wikipedia.

Difficult to Read? (1)

Skeptic Ace (1274870) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995032)

I'd hardly think so.

I need serifs and find 12-point Bodoni MT at 75% greyscale is much easier to read and perhaps comprehend. The Kindle 3 still has about the same contrast and just as "horrid" a font as Bodoni @ 75% greyscale, but it has serifs and therefore is easy enough to read.

Maybe I'll try Bodoni MT at 12 point on the Kindle. I would also opt for Cambia.

Arial may be clear and discernible at great distances but I'd not say Arial is a reading font (especially at 16 pt). Everyone I hand papers to needs serifs and ask for Times New Roman 12 pt. Even my excel sheets must be 12pt Times New Roman. There is no doubt Helvetica, Ariel, and Verdana (And perhaps Calibri) are humanistic, clear when printed or read. But clarity does not equate to readability.

On the topic of Fonts: Does anyone else love Consolas? I love it in Terminal and TextEdit!

Re:Difficult to Read? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995736)

I need serifs and find 12-point Bodoni MT at 75% greyscale is much easier to read and perhaps comprehend. The Kindle 3 still has about the same contrast and just as "horrid" a font as Bodoni @ 75% greyscale, but it has serifs and therefore is easy enough to read.

Maybe I'll try Bodoni MT at 12 point on the Kindle. I would also opt for Cambia.

Bodoni is a very readable font when typeset correctly (appropriate size, measure and leading) and printed on paper. It's not a good fit for screens because of the extreme modulation -- too much variance between the horizontal strokes and the ultra-thin vertical strokes. The best fonts for devices like the Kindle are ones where there's almost no modulation (like the Caecilia font that Amazon chose). I've personally found H&JF's Sentinel to be an excellent e-reader font, but it's pricy (partly because it's so well designed).

Cursive/Script (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995040)

Does this mean that cursive/script is actually useful? Because if we all have easy to read printed materials from now on, we might be dumbing ourselves down?

linux (0, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995042)

no wonder linux nerds learn heaps - linux fonts are the smallest worst defined fonts in the computing world.

Re:linux (1)

tcr (39109) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995186)

My Linux fonts are beautiful...
Java fonts are another matter.

Time constraints and the real world (3, Interesting)

arikol (728226) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995058)

Ok, what about having to read all courses in illegible fonts. will the time allotted suffice?

It's rather obvious that slowing down the reading gives better retention, this fact is well known within psychology and cognitive science. But using this method of slowing students down may impact their overall score, as they don't have time to read everything they are supposed to.

110 out of 100 in history, 5 out of 100 in psychology because you only managed to read the first chapter..

Use Linux Desktop then (1, Funny)

rajeev_king (467107) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995094)

It improves learning now ..

Costs no money? Takes no effort? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995138)

"The fact that we can improve learning... with an intervention that costs no money and takes basically no effort to implement means that we can potentially improve education quickly and cheaply."

bollocks

i k|\|3w i7 411 410|\|g (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995206)

bu7 i g07 b4d gr4d35 w|-|3|\| i 4pp1i3d my k|\|0w13dg3.

Re:i k|\|3w i7 411 410|\|g (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33996182)

Scary I could actually read what you wrote. ;)

You mean Arial is good? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995216)

Thinking that Arial is a good print font whereas Comic Sans and Bodoni aren't, is one point of view. Maybe Comic Sans and Bodoni are better suited for printing, so they do boost learning by more fluid reading of the text?

Learning? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995262)

I like the way the title equates short/mid term memory to learning. Realllllly good.

if our dna is only 98% monkey, what else is it? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995282)

aliens? no such thing? nazi etc... breeding experiments? never happened? anyway, without relatively accurate information to begin with, 'learning' becomes just another monkey see monkey do, which is how most of us survive here. then, we're told how to, & not to 'thrive'. the 'rules' are quite flexible for the bigger monkeys. real monkeys treat each other much better than we/US treat each other/everybody else/ourselves.

the corepirate nazi freemason holycost (life, liberty etc...) is increasing by the minute. you call this 'weather'?

continue to add immeasurable amounts of MISinformation, rhetoric & fluff, & there you have IT? that's US? thou shalt not... oh forget it. fake weather (censored?), fake money, fake god(s), what's next? fake ?aliens? ahhaha. seeing as we (have been told that) came from monkeys, the only possible clue we would have to anything being out of order, we would get from the weather. that, & all the other monkeys tipping over/exploding around US.

the search continues; on any search engine

weather+manipulation

bush+cheney+wolfowitz+rumsfeld+wmd+oil+freemason+blair+obama+weather+authors

meanwhile (as it may take a while longer to finish wrecking this place); the corepirate nazi illuminati (remember, (we have been told) we came from monkeys, & 'they' believe they DIDN'T), continues to demand that we learn to live on less/nothing while they continue to consume/waste/destroy immeasurable amounts of stuff/life, & feast on nubile virgins while worshipping themselves (& evile in general (baal to be exact)). they're always hunting that patch of red on almost everyones' neck. if they cannot find yours (greed, fear ego etc...) then you can go starve. that's their (slippery/slimy) 'platform' now. see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

never a better time to consult with/trust in our creators. the lights are coming up rapidly all over now. see you there?

greed, fear & ego (in any order) are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of our dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & any notion of prosperity for us, or our children. not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one, & the terminal damage to our atmosphere/planet (see also: manufactured 'weather', hot etc...). see you on the other side of it? the lights are coming up all over now. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be your guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. we now have some choices. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on your brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

"The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."--

"The wealth of the universe is for me. Every thing is explicable and practical for me .... I am defeated all the time; yet to victory I am born." --emerson

no need to confuse 'religion' with being a spiritual being. our soul purpose here is to care for one another. failing that, we're simply passing through (excess baggage) being distracted/consumed by the guaranteed to fail illusionary trappings of man'kind'. & recently (about 10,000 years ago) it was determined that hoarding & excess by a few, resulted in negative consequences for all.

consult with/trust in your creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

all the manuals say we're not to kill each other, & we're mandated to care for/about one another, before any other notion will succeed. one does not need to agree whois 'in charge' to grasp the possibility that there may be some assistance available to us, including from each other. there's also the question of frequent extreme 'distractions' preventing us from following the simple 'directions' we were given, along with everything we needed to accomplish our task. see you there?
boeing, boeing, gone.

Wow (1, Funny)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995362)

I'd assumed Asians were better students because of cultural differences; never figured it was because of kanji etc.

Bullshit. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995368)

Wasnt it because the 'harder to read' fonts made the 'aliens' linked to that sample look more 'authentic' and therefore increased interest in their information.

Comic Sans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995520)

Here comes a bunch of textbooks in Comic Sans.

My Hand-written Notes... (1)

fatp (1171151) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995524)

Helped me very much in my learning!

It's now on sale in big discount... anyone interested?

New charitable deductions claimed! (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995536)

In a recent press release The Fine Printers Assosiation of America announced that it has been much maligned by the popular press. Mr Ucant R Eadme, their spokesman said, "Our members, mostly lawyers, food ingredient label designers and medical commercial copy writers have been engaged in a long standing and diligent effort to improve the reading comprehension of Americans. But they have been systematically mischaracterized by the popular media as selfish people helping malefactors to bury incovenient gotchas. Now that scientific research is showing that our activities are improving the reading skills of Americans, we are planning to claim it charitable in-kind donation. We expect to cut our onerous tax burden by several billion dollars."

Re:New charitable deductions claimed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995638)

"The Fine Printers Assosiation of America"

The Slashdot Group of Spelling Nazi's will dispute your claim.

Use obscure unreadable custom fonts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995546)

Use obscure unreadable custom fonts. Infinite learning. Great stuff.

So reading web pages with... (1)

GoodBuddy (1846360) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995742)

... gray type on a black background may actually improve what I learn? Is /. planning a change?

Finally proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995814)

Finally science proofed that my handwriting is superior. I will te this my most ikely long gone first grade teacher.

And that my friend... (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 3 years ago | (#33995850)

Is why I write all my emails in Wingdings...

tro7l (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33995920)

be treated by your up my toys. I'm Its readers and that *BSD 0wned.

Study is wrong: They mixed up which fonts are easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33996076)

The authors of the study confused "easy to read" with "easy to read at a distance". Big fonts are for signs and titles that you might read from far away. The easiest font to read is the one most similar to what you read every day, which in this case, is the 12 point fonts, not the 16-point Arial. Correcting for this mistake, the conclusion becomes the opposite, "Easy-to-Read Fonts Improve Learning", which should come as a surprise to no one.

WiReD! (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#33996090)

Everything I know I've learned from Wired magazine.

Comprehension vs. Regurgitation (1)

inthealpine (1337881) | more than 3 years ago | (#33996132)

The story omitted the finding that although the harder to read font improved a students ability to comprehend and retain information, allowing for higher in class assignment scores. The unintended consequence was the lost ability to regurgitate context-less and useless dates, numbers and names on state tests. With the lost ability to understand the standard academic font: (Bulimic A,B,C,D) aka (Bulimic A,B,C,D-all of the above-), the student test subjects failed state exams.
Although correcting the grammar of the test and writing many pages of detailed analysis of each question gained the students sympathy from administrators, there was nothing that could be done. One administrator is quoted: "Do I feel awful? Pained for letting this happen? Responsible for letting damage happen that could haunt them for all their life? All of the above, without a doubt, All of the above."
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