Writer’s block? Try typing one-handed: Slowing down how fast you type can boost the quality of your writing By Sophie Freeman

By Sophie Freeman For Mailonline Published: 05:43 EST, 7 March 2016

Researchers from Canada used text-analysis software to analyse essays  The vocabulary became more sophisticated when typed with one hand Experts said slowing our writing down allows us more time to think.

Whether you have ambitions to be the next J.K. Rowling, or just want to send more impressive emails to your boss, try typing the words with one hand. The quality of our writing improves when we type single-handedly, according to a study.

The quality of our writing improves when we type single-handedly, according to a study. Using text-analysis software, researchers found that the vocabulary used by study participants as they wrote essays became more sophisticated when they typed with one hand rather than two.  Stock image pictured

Using text-analysis software, researchers found that the vocabulary used by study participants as they wrote essays became more sophisticated when they typed with one hand rather than two. The quality of our writing improves when we type single-handedly, according to a study. Using text-analysis software, researchers found that the vocabulary used by study participants as they wrote essays became more sophisticated when they typed with one hand rather than two.  ‘Typing can be too fluent or too fast, and can actually impair the writing process,’ said lead author of the study, Srdan Medimorec, from the University of Waterloo, Canada. ‘It seems that what we write is a product of the interactions between our thoughts and the tools we use to express them.’

The research team said that by slowing our writing down, typing one-handed allows more time for an internal word search, resulting in a larger variety of words. However, it is important not to slow typing down too much, they said – as previous research has found this can impair our writing.

The one-handed typers in the current study only slowed down to about the speed of handwriting.

The research team said that by slowing our writing down, typing one-handed allows more time for an internal word search, resulting in a larger variety of words. The one-handed typers in the current study only slowed down to about the speed of handwriting.

‘This is the first study to show that when you interfere with people’s typing, their writing can get better,’ said senior author of the study, Professor Evan Risko. The researchers suggest that speed could affect writing quality regardless of the tools, whether they are text-to-speech programs, computers, or a pen and paper, but future research is required to confirm this theory they said.

For the study, which was published in the British Journal of Psychology, the researchers carried out three separate experiments.  Participants were asked to write an essay describing a memorable day at school or an event that had a positive effect on them, or one in which they defended their position on banning mobile phones in schools.

TYPING PATTERNS MAY REVEAL BRAIN DISORDERS

Scientists claim the computer keyboard could be a powerful new tool in their battle against Parkinson’s disease. Researchers at MIT believe a person’s keystrokes may reveal a huge amount of information about their motor skills.

Now they’re working on creating a keyboard that can tell doctors if someone has the neuron impairment, simply by analysing the way they type. They have written an algorithm that can tell how effectively someone is striking a keypad. For instance, it can distinguish between typing done in the middle of the night, when sleep deprivation impairs motor skills, and typing performed when fully rested.

It does this by analysing something known as ‘key hold time’ – a measure of how long a key is pressed before being released. While the study focused on the effects of fatigue, the researchers say they could diagnose conditions that impair motor function, such as Parkinson’s disease, much earlier than is now possible.

Preliminary results from a study of about two dozen Parkinson’s patients suggest that the researchers’ algorithm for analysing keystrokes can distinguish people who have the disease from those who don’t. The team is now planning a larger study of Parkinson’s patients.

[This post originally appeared here http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3480177/Writer-s-block-Try-typing-one-handed-Slowing-fast-type-boost-quality-writing.html]

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