Do You Forget What You’ve Read?
I love this quote by Nora Ephron: “Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.” And I agree with her one hundred percent. But why is it that only a day after reading a book I enjoyed immensely, I can hardly remember it? New brain research shows one reason may be that the kind of type face, or font, makes it just too easy to read.
Researchers at Princeton University and Indiana University conducted two experiments to determine if changing the font of material would improve memory and learning. In the first study, people (18 to 40 years old) were given 90 seconds to memorize information written in different fonts. Then they were given a memory test 15 minutes after they memorized the information. The subjects scored 72.8% correct when they memorized information in the easy-to-read text, but they scored significantly better (86.5% correct) when they memorized information written in the difficult-to-read font.
In the second study, the researchers studied text fonts in a classroom setting. They changed the font in worksheets and Powerpoint slides in six different high school classes (AP English, Honors English, Honors Physics, Honors US History and Honors Chemistry) and then examined the test performance of 222 high school students.