Why do I remember something better if I read it out loud? © Getty Images

Why do I remember something better if I read it out loud?

Next time you're narrating the newspaper to yourself on the bus, rest assured that all the strange looks are worth it.

Asked by: Jonathan Warton, Herefordshire

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There are at least two possibilities – one is that it helps to hear the information in your own voice, the other is that there’s something memorable about the act of speaking the words. A clever study put these two explanations to the test recently. It compared participants reading words aloud to listening to earlier recordings of themselves saying words, using a memory test.

The findings suggested that both the act of speaking, and hearing oneself, assist memory – the former because it’s a more active, involved process than silent reading, and the latter because hearing oneself speak makes the information more personally salient.


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