Members in the Media
From: The Boston Globe

Taking Notes? Bring a Pen, Skip the Computer

The Boston Globe:

Just about every professor has complained about students with screens in front of them flitting over to Facebook or Tumblr instead of listening to a lecture. But, those distractions aside, it’s hard to blame the kids for wanting to type their notes instead of write them out longhand. Think of how much quicker you can type an e-mail than write a letter: Digital note-taking is simply easier.

A paper published online in the journal Psychological Science last month, however, suggests that longhand may actually hold an advantage when it comes to the most important reason we take notes—that is, to help us remember what we’ve heard. The researchers—Pam Mueller, a graduate student at Princeton University, and Daniel Oppenheimer, a psychology professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management—had students take notes on a lecture, and then quizzed them on it later. In the end, longhand note-takers performed better on quizzes than their laptop-wielding peers, even though the Internet was disabled.

Read the whole story: The Boston Globe

More of our Members in the Media >


APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Comments will be moderated. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.

Please login with your APS account to comment.