Libraries are quiet places because people are often concentrating intensely, but according to a recent paper, muttering to yourself and talking about things out loud helps improve your memory and the knowledge that you retain.
Photo by Richard Lawrence Cohen.
You may look a little odd talking to yourself, but studying out loud improves information retention by differentiating bits of knowledge. According to the article:
In this paper, these researchers document what they call the production effect. They looked at people’s memory for items like a list of words. They found that if people studied the list by reading half of the words silently and the other half by saying the words out loud, that the words spoken aloud were remembered much better than those that were read silently.
The production effect works because it makes part of the list of items more distinctive. The words you speak aloud are now translated into speech and you have knowledge of producing the items as well as a memory of hearing them. All of this information makes your memory for the spoken items more distinct from the rest of the items that were read silently.
Sounds like a good enough reason to start vocalising a bit more to us.
Say it loud: I’m creating a distinctive memory. [Psychology Today]