Doodling Aids Memory

A Way to Prevent Daydreaming

Doodling might imply a wandering mind, but according to a study published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, the contrary is true; doodling can actually help people remember details.

Study participants who were directed to doodle while listening to a dull phone message demonstrated a 29 percent improved recall compared with their non-doodling counterparts. “If someone is doing a boring task, they may start to daydream. Daydreaming distracts them from the task, resulting in poorer performance,” explains study co-author Jackie Andrade, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Plymouth, in England. “A simple task, like doodling, may be sufficient to stop daydreaming without affecting performance on the main task.” It turns out that in everyday life, doodling may be something we do because it helps us stay on track.

Source: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009

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