READABILITY AS A FUNCTION OF THE STRAIGHTNESS OF RIGHTHAND MARGINS.
PUBLIC SERVICE RESEARCH INC STAMFORD CT
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Two experiments were performed to determine whether text with an even right margin is easier to read than text with an irregular right margin. Three margin types were evaluated 1 an irregular right margin produced by ordinary typing 2 an irregular right margin with a straight vertical line printed beside it and 3 a straight right margin produced by justified typing, i.e., spacing the words so that all lines are equal in length. In the first experiment, standardized reading tests were administered to 216 naval personnel. Every subject took three 40-minute tests, one of each margin type. Each test yielded two scores level of comprehension and speed of comprehension. There were no significant differences between level scores. Differences between speed scores were statistically significant, but so small as to have no practical significance. In the second experiment, eye movements during reading were recorded from 18 subjects who had received average scores on the reading tests. Margin type had no effect on reading speed, on frequency and duration of fixations, or on frequency of regressive eye movements. It was concluded that text with an uneven right margin is as easy to read as text with a straight right margin. Author