I have noticed that when I, and presumably others, count the number of times the letter
F appears in the following passage:
FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS
They typically get a count of three, yet the real answer is six. The letter
F in the the word "OF" tends to be omitted from the count.
I imagine that this effect has something to do with top-down processing.
- Have there been any scientific studies of this or a similar task?
- What proportion of people complete the task successfully?
- What explains the tendency of people to not count the letter F's in the word "OF"?