Psychology Wiki


34,203pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk0 Share

Assessment | Biopsychology | Comparative | Cognitive | Developmental | Language | Individual differences | Personality | Philosophy | Social |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |

Educational Psychology: Assessment · Issues · Theory & research · Techniques · Techniques X subject · Special Ed. · Pastoral

The term bouma (pronounced "bowma") is sometimes used in the work of cognitive psychology to mean the shape of a cluster of letters, often a whole word.

Some typographers believe that, when reading, people can recognize words by deciphering boumas, not just individual letters. The claim is that this is a natural strategy for increasing reading efficiency. However, considerable study and experimentation by cognitive psychologists has led to their general acceptance of a different, and largely contradictory, theory: parallel letterwise recognition.

The term bouma is a reduction of "Bouma-shape", which was probably first used in Paul Saenger's 1997 book "Space between Words: The Origins of Silent Reading", although Saenger himself attributes it to Insup & Maurice Martin Taylor. Its origin is in reference to hypotheses by a prominent vision researcher, H. Bouma, who studied the shapes and confusability of letters and letter strings.

See alsoEdit


Bouma, H. (1971). Visual Recognition of Isolated Lower-Case Letters. Vision Research, 11, 459-474.

External linksEdit

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki