People Who Write Well Do This One Simple Thing, Psych Study Finds

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The method could benefit people using computers, pen-and-paper or even speech-to-text.

Forcing yourself to type slower could improve the quality of your writing, a new study finds.

Participants in the study who typed with only one hand produced higher quality essays, researchers found.

Mr Srdan Medimorec, the study’s lead author, said:

“Typing can be too fluent or too fast, and can actually impair the writing process.

It seems that what we write is a product of the interactions between our thoughts and the tools we use to express them.”

People who type quickly may use the first word that comes to hand.

Slowing down allows the mind more time to find the right word.

This could be why forcing yourself to slow down a little improves the sophistication of vocabulary used.

Professor Evan F. Risko, who co-authored the study, said:

“This is the first study to show that when you interfere with people’s typing, their writing can get better.

We’re not saying that students should write their term papers with one hand, but our results show that going fast can have its drawbacks.

This is important to consider as writing tools continue to emerge that let us get our thoughts onto the proverbial page faster and faster.”

Slowing down your writing could help writing quality no matter what input method is used, the authors think.

The same trick could benefit people using pen-and-paper or even speech-to-text.

Slowing down too much, though, can be detrimental.

When people slow to below the rate of normal handwriting, their quality gets worse, previous research suggests.

The study was published in the British Journal of Psychology (Medimorec & Risko, 2016).

Image credit: Kamilla Oliveira

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Published: 1 February 2016

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