Skilled Typing: A Characterization Based on the Distribution of Times Between Responses

  • John Long
  • Ian Nimmo-Smith
  • Andy Whitefield


In 1946, Stella Pajunas, now Mrs. Garnard, typed 216 words in 1 minute using an IBM typewriter (McWhirter, 1981). In 1981, one of us (JL) typed 24 words in 1 minute, also using an IBM machine. The two examples serve to delimit the dimension of skilled typing. At one end, the champion typist succeeds in typing an average of 18 keystrokes per second, giving a mean interresponse time of 55 msec (interresponse time is the time between two successive keystrokes; words are considered to consist of five characters, including a space). At the other end of the dimension, the hunt-and-peck typist manages to type only an average of 2 keystrokes per second, giving a mean interresponse time of 500 msec. The champion is almost 10 times as fast as the beginner. Although speed is one of the most noticeable differences between these two levels of skill, other differences are as easily observed.


Summary Statistic Profile Analysis Primary System Secondary System Exponential Tail 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Long
  • Ian Nimmo-Smith
  • Andy Whitefield

There are no affiliations available

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