Doodles May Help Memory Retention
by CliffordHom
Sep 25, 2009 | 5391 views | 3 3 comments | 323 323 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

One aspect of psychology that should be a good research paper topic is the effect of doodling on learning and on memory retention. Many perceive doodling as something that is associated with daydreaming and not listening in class. Recent studies have shown though that this is false.

A good source for a research paper that could claim that doodling is beneficial is an experiment conducted by a group of British researchers on whether doodling has a positive or negative effect. For the experiment, 40 individuals were asked to listen to a voice mail regarding a birthday party. The person talking mentioned a birthday party wherein eight people are expcted to be in attendance. Eight names of places were also mentioned apart from other things.

Half of the group that were participating in the experiment were asked to shade geometric shapes while listening to the voice mail, they were also asked not to mind whether the shading was neat or not. The other half of the group were not given this instruction. The participants of the experiment were not informed that this was a memory test.


If this will be used as a source, it is important to note in the research papers that the result of the experiment proves that doodling does not necessarily mean absent-mindedness. After listening to the voice mail, all the participants were given a sheet of paper and asked to write down the names of the persons that were expected to attend the party, as well as the places mentioned. The participants of the group that doodled were able to recall 7.5 of the names and places, on average; while those who simply listened had an average of 5.8. This led to the conclusion that doodling is helpful in memory retention.

A more in depth account of the the experiment was published in the journal Applied Cognitive pyschology, Volume 23, Number 3, which was published on February 26, 2009. It would be highly beneficial to refer to this if one is to make a research paper on the topic.

Gerturde Price is a professor of cognitive pyschology. Whilst most professors dissuade their students when they doodle, Price has always recommended it even before the experiment on doodling was published.

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February 22, 2018
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