Why do we remember more by reading in print vs. on a screen? - Deepstash

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Reading Onscreen Vs On Printed Text

Reading Onscreen Vs On Printed Text

Most schools and colleges have gone completely digital with professors and teachers abandoning textbook assignments in favour of multimedia coursework and digital text.

However, studies show that reading several pages of text on printed paper is more effective than on the screen. Printed text reading improves the recall of minor details and also the understanding of the core content.


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Read, Listen, Or Watch

Reading on paper is better in terms of concentration and learning, as opposed to digital texts or TED talks. This is because people associate digital texts, podcasts and other multimedia courseware with casual social media, and apply less mental effort, as opposed to reading printed text. This phenomenon is known as the Shallowing Hypothesis.

While it seems that watching a Discovery Channel documentary or listening to a podcast is more engaging, the opposite is true in terms of content recall.


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Video Is Entertainment

Trying to learn using digital media(digital text, audio and video) isn’t very effective due to :

  1. Diminished concentration levels.
  2. A tendency towards distractions or multitasking.
  3. An entertainment mindset.
  4. A lack of review notes or annotations.
  5. The inability to create a fixed reference point.


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