Researchers from the University of Waterloo asked participants to type essays using both hands or with only one.
Using text-analysis software, the team discovered that some aspects of essay writing, such as sophistication of vocabulary, improved when participants used only one hand to type.
“Typing can be too fluent or too fast and can actually impair the writing process,” said Srdan Medimorec, researcher in the faculty of arts at Waterloo and lead author of a paper appeared in the British Journal of Psychology.
The results led the researchers to speculate that slowing down participants’ typing by asking them to use only one hand, allowed more time for internal word search, resulting in a larger variety of words.
Fast typists may have simply written the first word that came to mind. “This is the first study to show that when you interfere with people’s typing, their writing can get better,” said professor Evan F. Risko.
The researchers are not forcing students to write their term papers with one hand but the 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,” the authors noted.