How Reading Paper And E-Books Affects Our Memory And Reproductivity

Research shows that reading printed texts instead of electronic ones can help you remember information better. Here is more.

Why is it better to read paper books

Despite all the advantages of digital sources of information, there has been growing evidence that our brains prefer analog media over the past few years.

According to research, psychologists at Princeton University and UCLA, it is much easier to remember something important by handwriting it. According to psychotherapist and journalism expert Maud Purcell, this may be because writing stimulates an area of ​​the brain known as the reticular activating system, which filters and brings clarity to the bulk of information we focus on.

It turned out that the absorption of information from paper contributes to better retention in memory and increased productivity. Anne Mangen, a professor at the Reading Center at the University of Stavanger, Norway, conducted a study where she gave participants the same 28-page detective story – some on paper, some on an Amazon Kindle. After that, they were asked several questions about the text.

Those who read the paper story gave more correct answers to questions related to time and chronology than those who read with the Kindle. And when participants were asked to put 14 events in the correct order, those who read the paper book scored the best.

Anna Mangen

Scientists have yet to analyze this study fully, but Mangen associates the benefits of reading paper books with a metacognition deficit. According to the professor, metacognition is how consciously we relate to information. “For example, how much time in the reading process do you spend trying to understand the text well enough and then solve the problem associated with it,” says Mangen.

Read also: 8 Reasons To Read More Fiction

Participants in another study of “metacognitive regulation of text learning: on-screen versus on paper” found that it is believed that they better comprehend information when they read from the screens of electronic devices. Because of this, they understood text much faster than those who read from paper and believed that they would perform better in a text-based quiz. As a result, the traditional format admirers won to understand the text and better predicted their results.

No need to read everything from paper

With books, the situation is clear, but does the brain absorb information when reading newspapers, magazines, and other physical media? Not necessarily.

“Length really seems to be the main issue, and several other text parameters like structure and layout, are closely related to it. Is the content presented in such a way that you are required to keep several events or parts of the text in your head at the same time? ” – continues Mangen. In other words, the complexity and density of information can affect the importance of the text source.

How Reading Paper And E-Books Affects Our Memory And Reproductivity
Image source: Reproduction/Internet

“It may be that for certain types of text or literary genres (for example, overly fascinating books), the source is almost irrelevant, while in the case of other genres (for example, cognitively and emotionally complex novels), the source may matter. for understanding and understanding the book, explains Mangen. “But this has yet to be tested empirically.”

There is no need to reach the print button when receiving the next letter unless the length is comparable to a novel. Reading short messages from the screen can hardly impede understanding and memorization.

Also read: 7 Ways To Read So Many Books

Print and digital information can coexist peacefully

Printed information is not always as good for understanding and remembering as digital information. It is helpful to remember that all media and technologies have their own user interfaces. The user interface of paper, in some cases, they can better influence the memorization and assimilation of complex information than electronic devices.

But in other situations, such as presentations with audiovisual material, a device like a tablet will be more useful. There is no universal solution. It all depends on several factors related to the content, the reader, the purpose of the reading, or the situation.

Take your time when reading e-books

If you cannot give up e-books, this does not mean that it is all lost for you. You probably think that you are absorbing information faster than you actually do, so you read books faster. The simple solution is to slow down and pay more attention to parsing the material. This will help you perceive information as well as reading from paper.

Adapted and translated by Wiki Avenue Staff

Sources: Life hacker