Is Writing Notes Better Than Typing? Science Weighs In...

Writing longhand vs typingThe debate is settled: writing longhand vs typing...

Composing words by hand fortifies memory in contrast with composing on a real
or virtual keyboard, new research finds.

The motor feedback from the procedure of writing longhand alongside the feeling of touching paper and pen aids learning.

Territories of the mind essential to dialect are all the more firmly initiated by the physical action.

The study looked at 36 individuals writing in three distinctive ways:

on a routine keyboard,

on a virtual keyboard (like an iPad),

writing longhand.

They were shown a rundown of words which they recorded.

Their memory for the words was then tried for both free review and acknowledgment.

The outcomes demonstrated that the technique for recording the words did not impact acknowledgment, but rather free review was better to write longhand.

Since it is much harder to review a word than to remember it, memory was more grounded for handwritten words.

The creators clarify the study's outcomes:

"…keyboard writing per se (whether on a virtual or a conventional keyboard) attenuates or disrupts memory for what is written.

However, with respect to aspects of word recall, our findings indicate that there may be certain cognitive benefits to handwriting which may not be fully retained in keyboard writing."

The upside of penmanship is that the consideration is all on the same thing in the meantime.

The study's writers think the issue with keyboard recording could be halfway to a split in consideration:

"The visual attention of keyboard writers is split between looking at the emerging text and looking at the keyboard on which they write.

From a visual-spatial perspective, a keyboard separates the “motor area” (or input area) where the letters are being produced (the keyboard) from the visual presentation area of the letters (the screen; or output area).

A keyboard thereby provides less real-time sensory and visual information about the writer’s own writing process, a fact which may result in less robust mental representations of the words.

One consequence of such a separation may be that the writer engages less with the written text and consequently is provided with an attenuated visual memory of the word, than in the handwriting condition, where the subject may fixate near the point where the physical writing takes place."

This research can be found in the Journal of Writing Research (Mangen et al., 2016).


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