Sheng-Hsiung Hsu , Kuo-Chen Huang
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Two experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of minimal legible size characters on Chinese word recognition. In Experiment 1, the minimal legible size was determined empirically to be the character size necessary to attain ninety-five percent correct recognition for various Chinese characters which differed in the number of strokes comprising the characters, ranging from three to twenty-seven. The results showed that the minimal legible sizes were larger for characters with more strokes. This indicates that characters with more strokes should be enlarged to attain the same recognition performance as that from characters with fewer strokes. Experiment 2 investigated recognition accuracy for a string of minimal legible size characters, versus, conventional equal size characters. The results showed that accuracy rate for the minimal legible size condition was higher than that for the conventional size condition. Although Chinese characters presented with their minimal legible size might change the present word configuration, the results suggest that minimal legible size of characters might help readers recognize words in situations where reading time is extremely short. In particular, the results suggest that minimal legible size Chinese characters may be appropriate in the design of warning or emergency signs.