While there is a new trend in the acting community that suggests actors should not memorize lines, many actors, directors, and filmmakers require actors to know their lines once the camera turns on or the curtains pull back.
Researchers at the University of Waterloo discovered reading information aloud to yourself improves your memory.
“This study confirms that learning and memory benefit from active involvement,” said Colin M. MacLeod, a professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at Waterloo, who co-authored the study with the lead author, post-doctoral fellow Noah Forrin. “When we add an active measure or a production element to a word, that word becomes more distinct in long-term memory, and hence more memorable.”
The study tested four methods for learning written information, like a script, including reading silently, hearing someone else read, listening to a recording of oneself reading, and reading aloud in real time. Results from tests with 95 participants showed that the production effect of reading information aloud to yourself resulted in the best remembering.
“When we consider the practical applications of this research, I think of seniors who are advised to do puzzles and crosswords to help strengthen their memory. This study suggests that the idea of action or activity also improves memory. And we know that regular exercise and movement are also strong building blocks for a good memory,” said Professor MacLeod.