Keep on Scribbling!

I have long advocated doodling as an aid to creativity but some recent research suggests that it also improves your memory!

Although there is research to suggest that multitasking is not the best way to do a thorough job, it seems that doodling and listening is an exception. Research carried out by the University of Plymouth tells another story.

40 adult volunteers were asked to listen to a very dull fake telephone message about a party. Half the participants were told to doodle (filling in some random printed shapes) while listening to the message, and to write down the names of those attending and to ignore all the other information. The other half were told to do exactly the same, except they weren’t given the doodling option.

Later all the participants were asked what they remembered from the message on a surprise memory test. The results, published in Applied Cognitive Psychology, suggest that the doodlers actually were able to remember more and on average they could recall 29 percent more information, and they also wrote down more partygoers’ names accurately.

So, next time you find yourself having to remember something tedious break out those coloured pencils and doodle away!

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Posted on March 5th, 2009 by

One Response to “Keep on Scribbling!”

  1. Ed Han says:

    Jane, this is extraordinary! I never knew that a habit I was always told was pointless was in fact quite useful. And thank you for the mention!

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