The undesirable effect of note-taking on your memory.
Note taking is very important when you try to grasp an important information. Either in school or at work, note taking becomes a common practice.
In school, note-taking has been a tool to retain more information that in turn be useful when students review their lessons.
But is note-taking really helpful?
Many studies in the past found the benefits of note-taking. Some findings suggest that note taking is more effective than text highlighting.
The reason is that text highlighting does not involve a cognitive process. The brain does not significant work when you highlight your notes.
Note taking, however, spends neural resources to summarize the ideas you jot down. In this case, the brain performs initial effort to encode the information even before the actual study session occurs.
Because the partial information retention happens during note taking, it will more likely that you remember the lesson more easily when you sit down to review.
But the studies on note-taking did not yield a consistent result. Some findings found the undesirable effect of note-taking on your memory.
According to a study, note taking could actually prohibit the encoding of the information in your memory.
The researchers suspect that, when you are taking notes, your brain would intentionally forget the information.
Why? The reason being is that, during note taking, the brain treats the information as not necessary to be recalled because it is already written.
As a result, the brain will do no effort to make initial encoding. Thus, after a while, you may not remember what you have previously written.
The result does not suggest that you should not take note of your class or meetings. Taking notes is still very important.
The result may only remind us that during the note-taking, you should pay attention to the information.
Reflecting on my personal experiences, I usually lose the information when I just take down notes without deliberate assessment of the information.
You will more likely to forget the information when you don’t pay attention to it. Your brain seems to be so lazy to remember what you have written because it knows that the hard copy is being made.
What do you think? Do you have the same experience? Leave your thoughts below.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.