The Effects of Doodling on Recall Ability

Jason Bruce Boggs, Jillian Lane Cohen, Gwen C. Marchand

Abstract


Previous research has documented a positive effect of doodling on individuals’ ability to recall information. However, previous research is limited to structured doodling tasks, such as shading in basic shapes. The present study extends the extant research, and increases the external validity of the previous findings, by considering the effects of multiple forms of doodling on recall. In this experimental study, ninety-three undergraduate participants were randomly assigned to one of 4 conditions (control, structured doodling, unstructured doodling, or note-taking). Participants listened to a fictional dialogue between 2 friends discussing a recent earthquake and then completed a fill-in the blank quiz to test their recall of the conversational information. The results indicated that participants in the unstructured doodling condition performed significantly worse than those in the structured doodling and note-taking condition.

Keywords


doodling; cognition; attention

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