Over 100 empirical studies, reviewed in M. A. Gernsbacher’s 2015 article “Video Captions Benefit Everyone,” document the benefits of captions in videos. These studies report benefits to a wide swath of participants as measured by a wide swath of criteria: summarizing main ideas, recalling facts, drawing inferences, defining words, identifying emotions, and of course, answering multiple-choice comprehension questions. Eye movement studies document that captions are read easily, attended to effortlessly, and integrated smoothly with the soundtrack of the video. Standard verbatim captions are as effective as more detailed or elaborated captions.

Numerous empirical studies demonstrate that captions benefit everyone who watches videos, from younger children to older adults. Captions are particularly beneficial to persons watching videos in their nonnative language, children and adults learning to ...

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