This study investigated the effects of variations in graphic elements that account for differences in speed and accuracy between reading text aloud from paper versus laptop computer. Variations in accurate reading-aloud performance are attributable to individual differences in the visual accessibility of information due to (1) the experimental manipulations of the independent variables, (2) the subjects' prior exposure to print within the culture, and (3) the educational attainment of the subject. A non-representative sample of 48 female survey interviewers (ages 38–72) were employed in the conduct of this study. Survey interviewers were selected because they gather information using laptop computers; the quality of the survey information collected may be directly associated with the legibility of computerized text on reader performance. Subjects completed a prior exposure to print questionnaire (Stanovich & West 1989) and a demographic data form (IDIQ). Repeated-measures analyses of variance were employed to examine individual differences in the speed and accuracy of reading-aloud performance for twenty-four conditions varying the levels of independent variables including: (1) Font (Times Roman, Helvetica, and Courier), (2) Justification (fully- justified versus left-justified), (3) Leading (single-spaced versus double-spaced), and (4) Mode of Presentation (paper versus laptop computer). Linear regression analyses found subjects' prior exposure to print significantly and positively related to predicting speed and miscue performance. The subjects' educational attainment significantly predicted miscue performance. Subjects' ages were not significantly related to performance. Results of this study inform computer programmers and designers who are responsible for developing standards and guidelines for legible computerized text for the effective access of accurate information.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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