Talking Through a Problem

Can’t figure out a complicated problem? Talk about it out loud or doodle on some paper. Psychologists in Spain say their tests show processing information verbally or visually is more effective than remaining silent and still. They put students in separate rooms and gave them the same problems to solve. The students who talked to themselves or drew pictures to map out solutions finished first and scored higher. Psychologist Jose Luis Villegas Castellanos says he isn’t sure why it works this way but believes verbal and visual problems-solving creates greater opportunities to discover the right answers.

Stephen Goforth