Sunday, 14 April 2013
Doodling, sounds like the actions of a distracted or idle mind. If you see a colleague doodling in a meeting you might think that they have switched off and won’t be much use when it comes to recalling who said what.
A 2009 study suggests different. In the study, 40 participants monitored a monotonous mock telephone message for the names of people coming to a party. Half of the group was randomly assigned to a ‘doodling’ condition where they shaded printed shapes while listening to the telephone call. The doodling group performed better on the monitoring task and recalled 29% more information on a surprise memory test.
This could be because learning may be improved when we use our hands, activating the hands helps activating the brain. It may also involve levels of processing theory. A lesson we can draw from this is that doodling may help if we are trying to remember information or be creative. Have you ever found yourself reaching for something to play with when you are trying to think a problem through or come up with some creative solution?
Next time you see the guy in the meeting doodle, don’t despair, he could be recalling more than you are and even be a bit more creative. Try a bit more doodling yourself this week and see if it works for you.