Someone actually read the study

In an earlier post , I mentioned a study in Psychological Science that appeared to suggest that writing notes longhand resulted in better understanding than note taking on computer. Now, someone has actually bothered to read the study and it appears that the conclusion wasn’t so much about the method of note taking but the type of information that was recorded.

Since most of the participants could type faster than write, their computer notes were more verbatim, whereas when writing on paper they had to analyze was was being said and just capture the jist of what was being said. Being forced to think about what the speaker was trying to say is what resulted in their better understanding and retention.

Even though there have been numerous more references to the story, they all continue to suggest that writing longhand is better. Likely this is because the study is behind a paywall and the news organizations and websites don’t want to pay to read it themselves.