Typing expertise in a large student population


  • Pinet Svetlana
  • Zielinski Christelle
  • Alario F.-Xavier
  • Longcamp Marieke

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Typing has become a pervasive mode of language production worldwide, with keyboards fully integrated in a large part of many daily activities. The bulk of the literature on typing expertise concerns highly trained professional touch-typists, but contemporary typing skills mostly result from unconstrained sustained practice. We measured the typing performance of a large cohort of 1301 university students through an online platform and followed a preregistered plan to analyze performance distributions, practice factors, and cognitive variables. The results suggest that the standard model with a sharp distinction between novice and expert typists may be inaccurate to account for the performance of the current generation of young typists. More generally, this study shows how the mere frequent use of a new tool can lead to the incidental development of high expertise.

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