Disfluency helps you to remember

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Leadership & Management

Researchers at Princeton University have found that people remember things better when it’s printed in smaller and less legible type.

This counter-intuitive finding has implications for anyone presenting the written word.

Students were given material to read printed in either a grey 12 point Comic Sans or Bodoni font and a 16 pony Arial font (Arial is considered one of the easiest to read).

They recalled 14% more facts from the document written in the harder to read font. In a semester long experiment students presented with slides and handouts with less legible typefaces performed better on tests than students presented with more legible typefaces.

Daniel Oppenheimer and his colleagues who carried out the research believe that easy-to-read typefaces enable you to skim the text without necessarily taking it in whereas harder-to-read text slows you down and makes you read more carefully. But you will also feel less confident as…

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