The next time you’re conducting a meeting and you notice that a colleague is scribbling away as you talk, try not to take it personally. A new study shows that your doodling peer is more likely to remember what you’re saying. British researcher, Jackie Andrade, who conducted the study, said: ‘This study suggests that in everyday life doodling may be something we do because it helps keep us on track with a boring tasks, rather than being an unnecessary distraction that we should try to resist.’
It seems that doodling helps the mind to focus and stop daydreaming. It’s not, after all, a sign of inattention.
Participants in the study, which will be published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, were asked to listen to a tedious phone message about plans for a party. The message include guests’ names, names of people who would not be attending, place names, and other irrelevant material. The participants were not told that they would be tested for their ability to recall the information. The doodlers wrote down more names while listening to the message, had better recall for the party guests’ names and place names. In fact, they remembered nearly one third more than the non-doodlers.