Close your laptop. Handwriting could make you smarter.

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blog handwriting versus laptop

According to research by Pam Mueller, a psychology graduate student at Princeton University (and a big-time Jeopardy champion), you might have been better off leaving the computer at home.

She helped conduct a series of experiments that found that writing notes longhand is much better for remembering and synthesizing information than typing on a laptop.

That might seem counterintuitive, since people type notes much faster than they write them. But Mueller found that even though laptop writers were able to take more notes, they were worse at comprehending the information within those notes.

“On the conceptual application questions, the people who took notes on their laptops did significantly worse, and that this was a function of the fact that they were trying to, essentially, take verbatim notes of what the lecturer was saying,” she explains. “The more verbatim notes they took, the worse they did on the test.”

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