Study finds so-called “memory enhancement” fonts have no fancy effect

Back in 2018, an Australian research team proposed a new font called Sans Forgetica, which helps enhance people’s memory. Recently, however, the Uk and New Zealand research team has passed the actual test, breaking our high expectations for this magical font. In a newly published peer-reviewed article, he quipped that “while it does not enhance memory, the ‘unrecognizable’ nature of this font is still positive”.

(From: University of Warwick)

As early as the early 1990s, Robert Bjork, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, coined the term “ideal difficulty.”

The theory is that when information becomes difficult to learn, it can enhance the effectiveness of memory. Since then, this contradictory theory has been supported by many studies, and trying to improve the level of learning with the ideal difficulty.

However, some researchers simply estimate memory expectations by the difficulty of reading information, and several studies have given complex results.

For example, 25 empirical reviews in 2018 suggest that hard-to-identify reading fonts do not do memory any benefit.

In contrast, when the font first came up, the original team said it had successfully conducted the experiment on 400 students. The results showed that students effectively remembered 57% of the new font display information, while the control group (Arial font) remembered only about 50%.

The authors of the new study say that, taking into account a range of factors, this consistent positive review and related reporting is clearly lacking in peer review, making it particularly important to repeat the findings of the Sans Forgetica team.

The new study conducted four different experiments involving more than 800 participants. First test ingress with whether Sans Forgetica is empirically more challenging than the text of the Arial font, and it’s no surprise that the former is harder to identify.

The second was to show subjects the phrases of different fonts, and it was found that the recall rate of the Arial font was much higher than that of Sans Forgetica — suggesting that Sans Forgetica was less conducive to memory retention for this particular experiment.

The last two experiments showed tables and concepts that contained two fonts, but had more information, and found little difference in memory calls between them. Kimberley Wade, of the University of Warwick, says:

After conducting four peer-reviewed experiments on Sans Forgetica and comparing it to the Arial font, they can confidently say that Sans Forgetica does not enhance memory as the original team advertised.

Andrea Taylor, of Waikato University in New Zealand, recommends that student friends who want to take shortcuts in memory should try to avoid relying on hard-to-read fonts.

After all, new research has shown that people should rely more on reliable, theoretical techniques to enhance learning than on breaking the font that promotes god.

Details of the study have been published in the recent issue of memory. Originally published as:

Disfluent reis are not desirable slys: the (lack of) effect of Sans Forgetica on memory.