This Approach Will Help You Remember

If you need to remember something- repeat it out loud to another person several times.

This is the suggestion from a study that analyzed how humans remember, and how social interaction helps us remember.

There is already evidence that simply repeating things out loud helps with remembering, for shutterstock_121065034example while studying or while doing mundane activities such as driving around in the car. In this most recent study, researchers explored the impact of interpersonal interactions on one’s recall.

Individuals participating in the study were asked to repeat various sets of words four times in different ways:

  1. First the words were just repeated silently in the mind, the way many try to memorize concepts when studying
  2. Next, the words were mouthed with no sound, while repeated silently in the mind
  3. The third approach was to watch a screen and repeat the words out loud
  4. Finally, the participants repeated the words to another person

In follow up testing, the words that were only repeatedly silently in the mind had the lowest level of recall, while the words repeated to another person had the highest level of recall.

According to one of the study leads “The simple fact of articulating without making a sound creates a sensorimotor link that increases our ability to remember, but if it is related to the functionality of speech, we remember even more.”

How to Apply the Concepts

In day to day interactions, when meeting a new person find a way to repeat their name out loud 3 times during the conversation. This will help with remembering that person’s name the next time you meet.

When studying, find a partner and state the material out loud to each other during your study session.

Kids benefit from talking about important testing material, or repeating key concepts to friends and family.

Finding creative ways to say out loud, repeat and engage with material that has to be remembered, increases the likelihood that when the information is needed, it will be recalled.

The information contained on this site is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment rendered by a licensed medical professional. It is essential that you discuss with your primary care provider any symptoms or medical problems that you may be experiencing.

Victor Boucher, Alexis Lafleur (2015) The ecology of self-monitoring effects on memory of verbal productions: Does speaking to someone make a difference? Consciousness and Cognition

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