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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mastering The Candle Light

We know from past studies and our own experience the emotion have a powerful effect on behavior.
For instance , when people received gift or watch a funny video, their mood improves and they then perform better on creative cognition tasks. So we decided to investigate whether good typography could similarly improve performance on these same tasks.
We asked people to read either a high quality or a poor quality on screen magazine. The content on both cases was an issue on The New  Yorker. The high   sample  used a version of The New Yorker’s font that had been enhanced using Microsoft’s ClearType font rendering technology, as well as hyphenation    of and justification. The poor quality sample used a bitmap version of courier, a font designed for typewriters, and had two points of spaces inserted between words. People in both group reported that they enjoyed reading the onscreen magazine.But there was a difference.
                After the group finished reading, we had them perform the Candle Task, a well known  psychological test developed by Karl Duncker in 1945.Subjects were given a candle, a match, a box full of thumbtacks. Their task was to affix the candle to a corkboard so that it wouldn’t drip wax onto the floor when lit.
                Among those who read the high quality text, a greater proportion were able to solve the task than in the group who read the poor quality version; the boost in cognitive ability was about the same as if they’d been given a small gift.

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