It’s hard to blame students for wanting to type notes instead of write them out longhand. Think of how much quicker you can type an e-mail than write a letter: Digital note-taking is simply easier. A paper published online in the journal Psychological Science last month, however, suggests that longhand may actually hold an advantage when it comes to the most important reason we take notes—that is, to help us remember what we’ve heard. What Pam Mueller of Princeton University and Daniel Oppenheimer of UCLA’s Anderson School of Management observed is an illuminating example of what psychologists call “desirable difficulty”—the fact that sometimes, obstacles that frustrate us actually help us learn.
Via Kathleen Cercone