There's Just Something About Paper
Reading on a screen is different from reading a book, and your brain can tell.
This week, we've got an update on one of our most popular episodes to date, about what all that skimming does to our ability to read deeply.
Dozens of you have written in with similar frustrations: you feel like you can't get through a novel, or even that excellent long article you meant to read a week ago. You've also commented on the difference between writing on paper and on a screen... and, yep, turns out there's a disconnect there as well: researchers at Princeton and UCLA say taking notes by hand is actually better for retaining information. In three studies, they found that students who took notes on laptops had more trouble answering conceptual questions than those who took notes longhand in a class. Laptop note takers, it turns out, tend to transcribe lectures rather than processing the facts and reframing them in their own words.
It's another example of a phenomenon we see over and over again: If you feel like a device or any technology has messed with you, you might be onto something... way before any researcher can prove it.
In this episode:
- Maryanne Wolf, Director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University
- Maria Popova, founder of Brainpickings.org
- Mike Rosenwald, Washington Post staff writer
- Laura Norén is an adjunct professor at the Stern School of Business at New York University (originally on The Takeaway)