I Heart Print and Paper

Why do so many people love print on paper? I’ve talked a lot about the tactile impact of print. And, Sappi has communicated and promoted the research behind haptics and neuroscience, with the help of Dr. David Eagleman. Now, to add to that, the results of consumer research conducted by Two Sides North America and Toluna, a global polling firm, reinforce our perspectives, and reveal that Americans are turning more and more to printed materials as they grow increasingly concerned with the overuse of electronic devices.

For me the most surprising outcome of the study is how 18-24-year-olds feel about print and paper—a generation that has been raised on technology and for whom technology is more fully integrated into their lives and behaviors. The study showed that 62% of this age group are concerned the overuse of electronic devices could be damaging to their health and 69% feel that it’s important to “switch off” and enjoy printed books and magazines.

Additional insights from the Toluna and Two Sides North America study, with data gathered from 2015 to 2018, showed that:

  • 88% of Americans believe they understand, retain or use information better when they read print.
  • 80% have a clear preference for reading complicated materials in print, in contrast to 12% for computer screens, 5% for e-readers and 3% for smart phones.
  • 68% believe that reading books is more likely to encourage learning and the development of other skills than using screens.

Dr. David Eagleman shares similar results, also backed by research and science, in the videos from Sappi’s The Neuroscience of Touch campaign. According to Eagleman, there have been over 100 published studies covering aspects of reading on paper versus reading on a screen. It turns out that the process of reading on paper allows your brain to make a better mental map, easing the way for increased cognition and creating a stronger long-term memory. Some of this is caused by the process of reading versus the process of hunting, browsing and scanning that happens online. Online reading left participants with a higher stress level and made them more tired versus reading on paper. Good information to integrate into your 2019 marketing plans!

You can dig a bit deeper into the outcomes of research shared by Dr. Eagleman here.

Does that make sense?

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