An eight experiment sequence to determine reading equality

Joan H. Coll, Jerry Fjermestad, Richard Coll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An eight experiment sequence was conducted to compare the speed and retention resulting from reading material. The text was justified in each of four different ways: ragged-right (unjustified); fill justified; equal-fill justified; and micro-fill justified. Retention was measured by recall and by recognition tests. For reading time, only one significant difference was found among the eight experiments. For retention, no statistically significant differences were found. Although our results are in direct contrast to those of other researchers, the consistency of our results make suspect any claim for reading time (or retention) superiority of ragged-right text. These eight experiments demonstrate that all forms of justification read equally well (discounting that micro-fill justification did have an edge in one of the five experiments in which it competed).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-242
Number of pages12
JournalInformation and Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management


  • Experimentation
  • Justification
  • Justified text
  • Reading
  • Retention


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