Typing with one hand improves the vocabulary, according to researchers at the University of Waterloo. The study published online on the British Journal of Psychology in Jan. 20 explains that using only one hand provided more time for internal word search, resulting in a more sophisticated choice of words.
The researchers added that those who type fast tend to write the first word that comes into their minds, which makes their choice of words more limited, resulting to less sophisticated writing quality. The research involved studying undergraduate students.
In three experiments, the research team asked the participants to write essays about a memorable day at school, a day that had a positive effect on them and an essay about their position on cellular phone ban in high schools.
Through a text-analysis software, they found out that using only one hand slows down typing but improved the students’ writing quality and particularly made their vocabulary more sophisticated. The team adds that the speed of writing affect writing quality regardless of writing tools.
“Typing can be too fluent or too fast, and can actually impair the writing process,” says lead author Srdan Medimorec, a Ph.D. candidate in the Faculty of Arts at Waterloo, in a press release. “It seems that what we write is a product of the interactions between our thoughts and the tools we use to express them.”
“This is the first study to show that when you interfere with people’s typing, their writing can get better,” adds senior author Evan Risko, professor and Canada Research Chair in Embodied and Embedded Cognition. “We’re not saying that students should write their term papers with one hand, but our results show that going fast can have its drawbacks. This is important to consider as writing tools continue to emerge that let us get our thoughts onto the proverbial page faster and faster.”