Incorporation of prior knowledge and habits while solving anagrams

  • Jesse Murray Drew University
  • Andrew Sutter Drew University
  • Angelia Lobifaro Drew University
  • Graham Cousens Drew University
  • Minjoon Kouh Drew University
Keywords: Eye movement, Eye Tracking, anagram, puzzle, prior knowledge, language statistics, bigram, n-gram


Games and puzzles provide a valuable context for examining human problem-solving behavior. We recorded and analyzed the sequence of letters viewed by the participants of our study while they were solving anagram puzzles. The goal was to examine and understand how people's linguistic habits and prior knowledge influenced their eye movements. The main findings of this study are: (1) People's stereotypical habit of scanning (e.g., adjacent or top viewing) strongly influences their solution-seeking behavior. (2) People tend to incorporate their prior knowledge of letter statistics in a reasonable way, such as looking less frequently at letter combinations that are uncommon in the English language.

How to Cite
Murray, J., Sutter, A., Lobifaro, A., Cousens, G., & Kouh, M. (2022). Incorporation of prior knowledge and habits while solving anagrams. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 15(5).

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