Beter onthouden door luidop voor te lezen

Het is nog niet een zevende poster voor de studiemethodes-posters, maar wel een interessant onderzoek gepubliceerd in Memory. Je zou beter onthouden als je iets luidop voorleest. Maar waarom, vroegen de onderzoekers zich af. BPS Digest beschrijft de onderzoeksopzet:

…the researchers first invited 75 students to their psych lab and recorded them saying 160 words out loud. At this point, the students knew they’d be returning to the lab in two weeks’ time, but didn’t know why.

When the students returned to the lab, they studied half of the words that they’d encountered earlier, in preparation for an immiment memory test. They revised these words in four different ways: they read 20 of the words to themselves silently; they heard a recording of someone else reading 20 words; they heard the earlier recording of themselves saying 20 more of the words; and they read the last 20 words out loud to themselves (the participants varied in the order they completed these different revision methods).

The memory test that followed was a recognition test, made up of the 80 words they’d just studied and the other 80 words used two weeks’ earlier (it was assumed that these would largely be forgotten). On seeing each word, the students’ had to indicate whether it was one they had just studied or not.

The most effective revision method was reading the words aloud in the study phase. This led to, on average, 77 per cent correct answers (i.e. words correctly categorised as just studied or old). In order of decreasing effectiveness, this was followed by revising by listening to a recording of themselves, hearing a recording of someone else say the words, and then finally by reading in silence.

These results suggest that the reading aloud advantage comes from both the act of reading and the experience of hearing oneself. However, the gap between reading aloud and hearing a recording of oneself was quite small, with only 3 per cent difference in performance. The biggest gap (12 per cent) was between reading the words out loud and reading them in silence.

Dus de onderzoekers vermoeden dat de reden is dat je het beter onthoudt omdat je ook jezelf nog eens hoort bij het voorlezen. De onderzoekers spreken zelf van ‘the production effect’. Dit zou slaan op het voordeel dat ontstaat als je iets luidop zegt boven lezen of gewoon iets horen. De onderzoekers zien drie belangrijke factoren die bij dit effect een rol spelen:

  1. Luidop herhalen of voorlezen is meer actief, er is meer motorisch verwerken.
  2. Bij luidop voorlezen moet je meer nadenken dan als je in stilte leest.
  3. Luidop voorlezen is wat men noemt ‘self-referential’, Ik heb het gezegd, waardoor het meer opvalt.

Deze methode is nog steeds wellicht minder goed dan de methodes van de posters, maar als je dan toch wil herhalen door simpelweg te lezen (een van de minst goede aanpakken), doe het dan luidop.

Abstract van het onderzoek:

The production effect is the memory advantage of saying words aloud over simply reading them silently. It has been hypothesised that this advantage stems from production featuring distinctive information that stands out at study relative to reading silently. MacLeod (2011) (I said, you said: The production effect gets personal. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review18, 1197–1202. doi:10.3758/s13423-011-0168-8) found superior memory for reading aloud oneself vs. hearing another person read aloud, which suggests that motor information (speaking), self-referential information (i.e., “I said it”), or both contribute to the production effect. In the present experiment, we dissociated the influence on memory of these two components by including a study condition in which participants heard themselves read words aloud (recorded earlier) – a first for production effect research – along with the more typical study conditions of reading aloud, hearing someone else speak, and reading silently. There was a gradient of memory across these four conditions, with hearing oneself lying between speaking and hearing someone else speak. These results imply that oral production is beneficial because it entails two distinctive components: a motor (speech) act and a unique, self-referential auditory input.

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