Scientia 2009: Janean Shedd

Janean Shedd will graduate in May 2009 with a B.S. in Special Education and certificates in Special Education and Early Childhood Education. While at Marywood, Janean took part in many service activities including working at the day care on campus, participating in music ministry, and going on service trips to Baltimore, MD and West Palm Beach, FL. Janean was also involved in several clubs and organizations during her years at Marywood including Delta Epsilon Sigma, Student Council for Exceptional Children, Resident Committee, and Volunteers in Action. Janean enjoys reading, crocheting, being with friends, playing music, singing, dancing, playing in the fall leaves, and making the most out of life. She would like to thank her family, friends, and professors who have helped her get this far in life, and who have believed in her enough to help her accomplish not only her thesis, but all that she has accomplished so far, including surviving college.

A Study on the Effects of Light and Color in Reading

Director: Dr. Patricia Sullivan Arter
Reader: Dr. Vijayac Angalli Ramachandra


The issues of light and color have often been brought up in regards to reading. Studies have explored the effects of either light or color on reading. These studies indicate that there are optimal light settings for people to read by, and that, for many people, blue or green paper color/a blue or green plastic overlay can ease the reading process. However, there are few, or no studies investigating the effects of both light and color on reading (if there have been any, they are not easily accessible). In the current study, thirty-two participants were shown fifteen different passages under three different light settings, using five different colors of paper. The results (when looking only at numbers) revealed that fluorescent lighting eased reading, and green paper eased reading. However, when still looking at the numbers, the overall top reading aid was found by combining white paper with fluorescent lights. In contrast, the participants indicated that they preferred using green paper (followed closely by white) and two incandescent bulbs because it eased the reading process the most. This study shows that people condition themselves to read within the given conditions, but that there may be an optimal combination of light and color (that may not involve fluorescent lighting). People may also be able to simply use colored overlays to enhance their ease and enjoyment of reading.

Full Article in PDF Form