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Reading Information Aloud To Yourself Improves Memory ( 54

According to a study in the journal Memory, reading aloud works by creating a "production effect" which cements information in your memory. Meanwhile, hearing words said in your own voice personalizes the references and enhances recollection, according to psychology professor Colin MacLeod and researchers from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Quartz reports: The findings are based on a study of 95 students (75 of whom returned for a second session) at the University of Waterloo. The students were tested on their ability to recall written information inputted in four different ways -- reading silently, hearing someone else read, listening to a recording of oneself reading, and reading aloud in real time. They were tested on recollection of short, four-to-six letter words on a list of 160 terms. The results show that reading information aloud to oneself led to the best recall. Oral production is effective because it has two distinctive components, a motor or speech act and a personal auditory input, the researchers explain. "[The] results suggest that production is memorable in part because it includes a distinctive, self-referential component. This may well underlie why rehearsal is so valuable in learning and remembering," the study concludes. "We do it ourselves, and we do it in our own voice. When it comes time to recover the information, we can use this distinctive component to help us to remember."
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Reading Information Aloud To Yourself Improves Memory

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  • News? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Knuckles ( 8964 ) <> on Saturday December 09, 2017 @06:12AM (#55705697)

    Anyone who ever had to learn stuff knows this.

    • Re:News? (Score:5, Funny)

      by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Saturday December 09, 2017 @06:54AM (#55705747)
      But apparently some people still need to read it to themselves aloud.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        But apparently some people still need to read it to themselves aloud.

        With politicians, the more often they say their own lies out loud, the more likely they will believe their own lies later:

        Walter Ulbricht, the former communist leader of East Germany (DDR) was often asked about rumors of the planning to build the Berlin Wall. His answer?

        The builders of our capital are fully engaged in residential construction, and its labor force is deployed for that. Nobody has the intention to erect a wall.

        15 June 1961 at a press conference in East Berlin. Less than two months later

    • Engaging two senses will increase your brain's memory of an event. If you could taste and smell news that would help too.
      • by Knuckles ( 8964 )

        Sure, handwriting helps too. Each person's MMV. This has been common knowledge for decades

        • So the best way to remember something is to say it out loud while writing it. Since we usually read what we write, that's three senses: visual, audio and motor reflexes.

      • by ark1 ( 873448 )
        Noted - If you tend to forget names of people you just meet. Make sure to smell, taste and touch them as well.
  • How did they do the "listening to a recording of oneself reading" without previously doing the "reading aloud" bit ( which would spoil the results ) ?
    Voice synthesizers ?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Copying written material by hand, or creating precis does it even better.

  • The original article is paywalled. Does any have a pre-print? I'd like to read it aloud to myself.
  • As a kid (and sometimes adult) I find myself reading things allowed in my head. I always had VERY high recall rates for reading things, I was (and kind of am) just slower at it.
    Although it's a smaller sample size perhaps, I'd be willing to believe this. Need to look at the study though :)

  • I describe what I'm doing. When I do it again, I can almost hear myself giving advice. I don't always actually vocalize, sometimes I only subvocalize. It depends on if there's someone nearby who will think I'm some kind of weirdo dingbat.

  • It is very common to read out lessons to help memorize passages in India. I found it to be distracting and slow. But all my neighbors and my cousins are "reading aloud" rote memorizers. It was very difficult to beat them in exams till school final. Test scores are not confidential there, you will be ranked in the class even in minor weekly quizzes. All through high school the tests did not distinguish between memorize-regurgitate students from people who struggle to understand and write answers on their own
  • There should have been a segment in that study where reading aloud in the voice of the Simpson's comic book guy skews the statistics adversely, creating the opposite effect.

  • ...Of a tiny number of people selected from a population that is already highly homogeneous, which is further homogenized by age, education, and probably other socioeconomic factors, studies conducted using minuscule samples of already homogeneous populations testing highly subjective things are completely fucking worthless, and any information gleaned that happens to be true is true only by accident, coincidentally. Iâ(TM)m pretty sick of shit like this being presented seriously as if itâ(TM)s r
  • 17 years ago I took a college course named "How to learn to learn" and I must admit it was some of the best invested time ever. There are generally 5 main yet simple methods how to cram information from one's short term memory to one's long term memory. This one is one of them.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle