(BERLIN) -- People have more of an emotional brain response to words in larger fonts than in smaller ones, according to the findings of a new study.
Researchers at the Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany connected 25 participants to an electroencephalogram, or EEG, a device used to measure electrical activity in the brain. They then gave participants 72 different positive, neutral and negative words in a variety of font sizes.
The study, published in the journal PLoS One, found that the positive (e.g. holiday) and negative (e.g. disease) words printed in a larger size elicited a stronger emotional brain response than smaller-sized words.
Changing the size of neutral words, like chair, did not elicit the same type of response.
“In general, emotional words capture more attention than neutral words,” Mareike Bayer, lead author of the study, told ABC News. “These effects are reflected in specific brain activations which can be measured by event related brain potentials in the EEG."
“Our study showed that the effects of emotional meaning are boosted when words are presented in large fonts,” said Bayer. “In other words, more attention is captured by larger emotional words, probably explaining the power of large fonts in tabloid headlines or catchwords.”
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