This study is limited to news and news articles tend to be short. I’ve seen studies before that showed that people tend to print off articles that exceed a certain length in pages and I know I do. Those studies preceded the e-paper days so maybe e-paper is more readable than plasma screens or cathode ray tubes.
Do You Remember Print News Stories Better Than Those You Read Online? [POLL]
via Mashable! by Todd Wasserman on 22/08/11
“A study by three doctoral candidates at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication found that print news readers remember “significantly more” than those who read news stories online. Print readers also remember “significantly more” topics than online readers, the report found. Print readers and online readers recall headlines equally well.
The three authors — Arthur Santana, Randall Livingstone and Yoon Cho — took a sample of 45 students. Of those, 25 read the paper edition of The New York Times and 20 read the newspaper exclusively online. The participants were asked to read each version of the paper for 20 minutes. Then they were quizzed on what they read.
The research paper offers a few possible reasons for the disparity: Online news “is ephemeral,” the report states. “It can appear and disappear without warning, thus creating an element of distraction.” Moreover, the layout of a paper newspaper gives readers an indication about which stories are thought to be more important. By contrast, “Online newspapers are apt to give fewer cues about the news story’s importance, thus giving readers more control over story selection.””
Here’s a link the study (30 page PDF):
Newsreaders’ Recall and Engagement with Online and Print Newspapers
Arthur D. Santana, Randall Livingstone and Yoon Cho
University of Oregon
School of Journalism and Communication
Anyway, is your memory better, worse or the same depending on the format you’re reading in? Mashable has a poll after the link.