In brief: Larger font packs more emotional punch

May 9, 2012

Bigger words – literally those printed in larger font size – elicit stronger emotional brain responses, reports a study published May 9 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

The researchers, led by Mareike Bayer of the Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany, showed 25 participants 72 different words, categorized either as positive, neutral, or negative, in varying font sizes, and found that reading the larger font sizes produced emotion effects in event-related potentials that began earlier and lasted longer than those resulting from reading smaller sizes.

More information: Bayer M, Sommer W, Schacht A (2012) Font Size Matters—Emotion and Attention in Cortical Responses to Written Words. PLoS ONE 7(5): e36042.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036042

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