Study Says Mindless Doodling Improves Memory

  by Heather Mayer  |  February 27th, 2009  |  Published in All, Blog


 |  Stumble |  Share on Facebook |  Tweet This | 

Good news for college students and meeting-goers everywhere. A study released today, published in Applied Cognitive Psychology, suggests that mindless doodling might actually improve memory.

Subjects listened to a "dull phone message," and those who were told to color shapes while listening to the message had a 29 percent imp`roved memory recall compared to non-doodling subjects.

The phone message listed names of people going to a party and party locations. Those who doodled during the message recalled an average of 7.5 of the eight party-goers and eight locations compared to 5.9 by the non-doodlers.

"If someone is doing a boring task, like listening to a dull telephone conversation, they may start to daydream," says Jackie Andrade, University of Plymouth researcher, in a press release. "Daydreaming distracts them from the task, resulting in poorer performance. A simple task, like doodling, may be sufficient to stop daydreaming without affecting performance on the main task."

In addition to recalling names and locations, subjects who doodled also recalled other information from the message, suggesting doodling allowed for better concentration, Andrade further explained in an email response.

“Although we didn’t test understanding, my assumption is that they would have understood material better too,” she says.

This gives promise to students and business people stuck in a boring lecture or meeting who might be scolded for "not paying attention," when in fact, they’re more likely to recall the information if allowed to doodle.

 |  Stumble |  Share on Facebook |  Tweet This | 


Responses

  1. SueL says:

    February 28th, 2009 at 3:10 pm (#)

    Interesting! I use this trick to stay conscious during boring presentations. Good to know it improves memory as well.

  2. James says:

    February 28th, 2009 at 8:15 pm (#)

    Something every teacher should be made aware of, immediately. How many children are told on a daily basis by the teacher to “stop doodling and pay attention!”. If they only knew that the doodling was actually a very good thing to be doing maybe more children wouldn’t get grounded for bad test scores.

  3. Geek Appeal « Ransom Noble - Writer says:

    March 2nd, 2009 at 8:37 am (#)

    [...] Read more here. [...]

  4. julie says:

    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:05 am (#)

    My daughter who was in 8th grade last year actually did her science fair project on doodling and how it affects attention. She came up with the idea based on her own experience of doodling in class. At the time, she could not find any research studies on the topic. Her project made it all the way to the state level. Her study also proved that not only did the students feel they were able to pay attention better to the lecture but did better on the comprehension test that followed. Interesting isn’t it?

  5. Aaron says:

    March 14th, 2009 at 9:52 pm (#)

    Actually, it’s pretty reasonable. Because after some time passing, the concentration you have is becoming frail and it’s highly impossible for you to fall sleep and avoid this problem,doodling can be very important way. The problem is people might scold you because of less attention you’re paying or actually this is how they think.

  6. Meghan says:

    March 15th, 2010 at 6:30 am (#)

    My name is meghan and i is cool that u post this. I am doing a science project on doodling and memory enhanceing and im interested in what u said.
    so i thank u increadibly.

  7. Vitamin Water : says:

    October 24th, 2010 at 3:16 pm (#)

    well, my girlfriend chose a Psychology major course and it seems to be a very interesting field indeed’~’

  8. Corner Cabinet %0B says:

    December 21st, 2010 at 1:25 pm (#)

    when i was still in high school, i always planned to take pyschology because it gives me great interest ‘`’

  9. find ugg boots says:

    August 29th, 2011 at 12:09 am (#)

    Hello! I simply wish to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice data you could have right here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for extra soon.

  10. Abraham says:

    September 13th, 2011 at 6:19 pm (#)

    This is usually a cool and nice learn. Your blog is published in a manner it’s so easily readable and understand. I AM a lover of your blog post. Thanks for giving this information.

  11. Compulsive Drawer » Studies show that Compulsive Drawing increases memory with 29% says:

    September 20th, 2011 at 7:35 am (#)

    [...] source [...]

  12. exotic wine says:

    September 22nd, 2011 at 12:28 am (#)

    Hey there, You’ve done an excellent job. I will certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this site. Cheers, exotic wine

  13. compulsive doodler says:

    September 23rd, 2011 at 1:11 pm (#)

    In my opinion, “doodling” is different from “coloring” or “shading” shapes. While coloring and shading is a “mindless” activity (repetitive and uncreative), a true doodler will use a lot of creativity: discovering what shapes a blob can morph into, adding color, tone, storylines, or copying the shape of someone’s face. All of this takes cognitive thought which simple shading and coloring does not require. I’d be interested to know if doodling (in the sense where creativity is being harnessed) would yield the same results. My guess is no.

  14. Replica Calvin Klein says:

    November 3rd, 2011 at 12:23 pm (#)

    Good post. I study one thing more difficult on different blogs everyday. It is going to all the time be stimulating to learn content material from different writers and observe somewhat one thing from their store. I’d choose to make use of some with the content on my weblog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link on your net blog. Thanks for sharing. watches top

  15. Burt & Associates says:

    November 4th, 2011 at 2:03 am (#)

    Random Google results can lead to wonderful blogs such as this. You are performing a good job, and we share a great deal of opinions.

  16. Kermit Skursky says:

    November 17th, 2011 at 10:37 am (#)

    I like this web site because so much useful stuff on here : D.

  17. Marcelo Simcic says:

    November 22nd, 2011 at 11:16 pm (#)

    Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a 30 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  18. opakowania tekturowe says:

    November 26th, 2011 at 4:11 am (#)

    As I website owner I believe the subject matter here is rattling great , thanks for your efforts.

  19. Cheap Tramon Williams Authentic Jersey says:

    January 1st, 2012 at 10:19 pm (#)

    Woah! I’m truly digging the template/theme of this web site. It really is easy, yet powerful. A lot of occasions it really is difficult to obtain that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appearance. I should say you’ve got done a fantastic job with this. Furthermore, the blog loads super fast for me on Opera. Outstanding Weblog!

  20. Cheap Greg Jennings Authentic Jersey says:

    January 4th, 2012 at 3:14 am (#)

    Usually I do not learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do so! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite nice article.

  21. Best Instructional Guide to European Car Breakdown Cover says:

    January 5th, 2012 at 1:26 am (#)

    It is perfect time to make a few plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve learn this post and if I may I wish to suggest you some attention-grabbing things or suggestions. Maybe you can write subsequent articles relating to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

  22. Grant Portal says:

    January 14th, 2012 at 2:52 pm (#)

    My name is Josef Robertson. Could u add a backlink on this page? You can reach me at JessieAcevedo7211@msn.com or ICQ:293085265

  23. Rocket Science 105: Just Do it! | Muse Flight says:

    January 25th, 2012 at 8:43 am (#)

    [...] I doodle. The noble art of doodling has always been scorned, but it actually has many benefits memory, comprehension and creativity. Go ahead and Google ‘Doodling improves’ and you will [...]

  24. Denny Michell says:

    March 13th, 2012 at 1:41 pm (#)

    Sweet website , super design and style , rattling clean and utilize friendly .

  25. Salvador Donaghy says:

    March 20th, 2012 at 9:37 am (#)

    Rattling nice layout and superb subject material , practically nothing else we want : D.

  26. Lavern Iniquez says:

    March 21st, 2012 at 9:16 am (#)

    I went over this web site and I think you have a lot of excellent information, saved to bookmarks (:.

  27. gharfaowehda WOAIJddawjJ says:

    March 22nd, 2012 at 6:57 am (#)

    After examine a couple of with the weblog posts on your web site now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark site list and shall be checking once more soon. Pls try my web site online as well and let me know what you believe.

  28. Beatrice Frisbee says:

    April 17th, 2012 at 8:45 am (#)

    Some genuinely grand work on behalf of the owner of this website , dead outstanding subject material .

  29. Joao Pedro says:

    April 18th, 2012 at 12:14 am (#)

    http://amsn.sourceforge.net/wiki/tiki-index.php?page=Installing+Plugins+and+Skins

  30. Elicia Bartuska says:

    April 23rd, 2012 at 5:57 pm (#)

    I am glad to be a visitor of this stark weblog ! , regards for this rare info ! .

  31. click here says:

    May 3rd, 2012 at 5:36 pm (#)

    Have you considered adding some relevant links to your article? I think it will really enhance everyones understanding.

  32. park chemii says:

    July 20th, 2012 at 8:23 am (#)

    I got what you mean , saved to fav, very nice site.

  33. Deena Guttirez says:

    July 25th, 2012 at 10:20 am (#)

    I got what you intend, saved to bookmarks , very nice web site .

  34. Alpha Cornes says:

    July 27th, 2012 at 8:43 am (#)

    Yay google is my world beater aided me to find this outstanding website ! .

  35. Charley Schultens says:

    July 28th, 2012 at 12:18 am (#)

    Glad to be one of the visitants on this awful website : D.

  36. What’s in a Doodle? « Nybble at the Surface says:

    September 20th, 2012 at 9:21 am (#)

    [...] are people out there who doodle, there are an equal number of people who dislike the habit. In a recent study, it was suggested that mindless doodling can actually improve one’s memory! (This is [...]

Leave a Response

Subscribe

Learn More
  • Subscribe via RSS RSS    iTunes
twitter / follow our tweets

Sign up to receive the weekly ScienCentral newsletter and enter to win a gift certificate to the ScienCentral Store!







Advertisement

Archives

Advertisement

Clicky Web Analytics