Working Papers

What Leads to Longer Reads? Psychological Drivers of Reading Online Content

Jonah Berger

University of Pennsylvania

Wendy W. Moe

University of Maryland, College Park

David Schweidel

Emory University

Nov 11, 2020

Analyzes how textual features shape reading of articles and encourage sustained attention. Content that evokes anger and anxiety encourage sustained attention while sadness discourages it. Textual features that increase processing ease (e.g., concreteness and familiar words) also increase sustained attention.

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