Reading Information Aloud to Yourself Improves Memory

The memory benefit of hearing oneself.


According to a new study, you are more likely to remember something if reading information aloud. The study suggests, speaking text aloud helps to get words into long-term memory.

Scientists dubbed it as production effect, a dual action of speaking and hearing oneself that has the most beneficial impact on memory.

Colin M. MacLeod, a professor, and chair of the Department of Psychology at Waterloo said, “This study confirms that learning and memory benefit from active involvement. When we add an active measure or a production element to a word, that word becomes more distinct in long-term memory, and hence more memorable.”

Scientists tested four methods for learning: written information, including reading silently, hearing someone else read, listening to a recording of oneself reading, and reading aloud in real time. They involved 95 different types of learners and ask them to read in all four types.

They showed that the production efficiency of reading information aloud to yourself resulted in the best remembering.

MacLeod said, “When we consider the practical applications of this research, I think of seniors who are advised to do puzzles and crosswords to help strengthen their memory.”

“This study suggests that the idea of action or activity also improves memory. And we know that regular exercise and movement are also strong building blocks for a good memory.”


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