[Reraising a recently asked question that was closed here, but in more cogsci fashion, I hope.]
Some people are more inclined than others to omit a word when typing, but still be unaware of its unintended absence on a (first) proofreading. In human-computer interaction (HCI) this is called a "misperception error". (according to Jan Noyes, Designing for Humans, p. 147, Psychology Press 2002... but that's about all the book says on the topic).
So what else is known?
- First of all, is it also called something else, perhaps more specific, because "misperception error" is very general, so it's hard to turn up any research on this particular error using these terms in pubmed.
- What is the prevalence among general population? It can't be something that hard to study, say among students, the low-hanging fruit of psychology and HCI studies, so I suspect some study on prevalence exists.
- What are some abnormal psychology correlates? I would venture a guess dyslexia and ADHD, but how much more common is it in such sub-populations than in neurotypicals?
I would gladly break this into separate questions if deemed necessary, but I suspect all of the above can probably be answered from one or two papers specifically on this topic.
I found a paper on a similar auditory phenomenon, which has some generally applicable ideas:
the application of signal detection theory (SDT) allows perceptual performance to be understood in terms of both sensitivity (the ability of a system to distinguish signal from noise) and response bias (the system’s bias, independent of sensitivity, for responding either positively or negatively)
So obviously there is a stronger response bias in proofreading your own typing than another's... which probably means that general statistics for "filling in" missing words in a sentence need to upward adjusted for proofreading your own typing.
Even more interesting, and perhaps a little worrisome for those exhibiting this,
This theory is supported by behavioural evidence showing that the influence expectation exerts over auditory perception is stronger in those who hallucinate [...] This theory is also supported by evidence that the prediction error signal, which communicates the discrepancy between expectation and actual sensation [...] is reduced in those who suffer from schizophrenia [...].
It remains to be seen if misperception of non-existent words due to semantic expectation correlates to some kind of predisposition for visual or other kind of hallucination. It seems a bit more far fetched.
Perhaps it's also worth noting here that simply proofreading familiar text, which the subject has read before in the correct version, but which is then modified by the injection of spelling errors, actually improves the detection rate of spelling errors. So not all kinds of familiarity with the text predispose to proofreading errors, at least not to proofreading spelling errors (missing or extra words were not tested in that study).