I was in trouble a lot for doodling in school when I was supposed to be listening. Not only was I obviously not paying attention the random squiggles and color blocks messed up my papers.

This is what I have to say to that: HAH!

A new study shows that doodling actually can help with remembering details. So by discouraging me from doodling, my teachers were actually decreasing my learning. The facts are there, doodlers recalled 94% of the details from the study) and non-doodlers only 73%. 

The theory offered is that doodling aids memory because it keeps you from daydreaming. Daydreaming tends to use a lot more of the brain’s “processing power” than doodling does.

I’m still waiting for the study that says reading or writing while listening to another subject also improves memory since that was the other thing I was always in trouble for in high school (and college), reading/writing when I was supposed to be paying attention. My grades were higher than those of the students who tattled on me for doing it.


J. Andrade.; What Does Doodling Do?; Appl. Cognit. Phsychol. 23:1-7 (2009); DOI: 10.1002/acp.1564

Cloud, John; Study: Doodling Helps You Pay Attention; Time Magazine; 02-26-09

Wiley; Do doodle: Research shows doodling can help memory recall;; 02-27-09


One response to “Doodling

  1. ha ha ha. my chem teacher lets us doodle for that very reason. i think it is funny when a fellow student tattles on me for crocheting in class, then i score at least a letter grade higher.