Saturday, November 19, 2011

Missing Letter Effect

In cognitive psychology, the missing letter effect refers to when people are asked to consciously detect target letters while reading text, they miss more letters in frequent, function words than in less frequent, content words. The missing letter effect has also been referred to as the reverse word superiority effect, since it describes a phenomenon where letters in more frequent words fail to be identified, instead of letter identification benefitting from increased word frequency. Humans can read a word with only the first and last letter of the word being in the correct spot.

An example of this that I find extremely interesting is this paragraph:

Arocdnicg to rsceearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pcale. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit pobelrm. Tihs is buseace the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

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