In the age of laptops, Tablets and smart phones most of us prefer writing down notes on technology devices rather than writing them with our own hands on books. But this interesting study from research psychologists Pam A. Mueller of Princeton University and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of the University of California, Los Angeles tells you why writing things by hand makes you smarter.
Typing is fast. Handwriting is slow. In simple terms that is the answer.
One could easily say that because laptops have lot of distractions like internet, movies, social networking etc. writing by hand is better but there is more to it than just this.
Jotting down all the lecturer says doesn’t require any critical thinking, during this transcription process the brain doesn’t engage with what is being said. Instead when you write down on paper because you can’t write down everything being said your brain processes what is important, paraphrase, underline, represent with quotes and summarise.
If you do not signal the brain that something is important, Science suggests that the brain discards it from memory for the sake of efficiency.
The more effort you are putting in understanding something, it sends a stronger signal to your brain and hence giving it a chance to remember it.
Also handwriting engages with parts of brain that is very important for memory formation. So all you school going kids and students – what are you waiting for? Shut down your laptops in classroom and get down to writing on books for that is going to make you smarter.
..... Devashree Goenka