While I was in class this morning I found myself creating little geometric shapes on my notebook. After I realized that I had spent the past thirty minutes creating little shapes and squiggles on my paper my professor conveniently asked me a question that the rest of the class didn’t seem to completely grasp. Shockingly, I answered it right away and continued my masterpiece. It wasn’t until after the lecture on my way to my car that I started to wonder how in the world I could have answered that question when all I was doing was watching the teachers mouth move and doodling beautiful art. Well it turns out that “doodling” could actually help you pay attention.
Psychologist Jackie Andrade performed a study that involved forty of her students listening to a long boring lecture. After the lecture she pulled the students into two groups of twenty and had them take turns sitting in a small room listening to a ten minute voicemail. One group was given the instructions to fill in little squares and circles on a piece of paper while listening to the voicemail and the other was told to just sit and enjoy the ramble.
The results showed that people who filled in the shapes could recall almost everything about the voicemail including specific times and dates while the other group struggled to recall any of it. It seems that doodling helped the students in recalling the voice mail, but why?
This is just your average doodle
Andrade has proposed that doodling can help us remember because we spend our time drawing simple shapes and pictures instead of daydreaming. Daydreaming seems harmless, but it actually takes up a lot of brain power, while doodling takes up just enough cognitive power to keep us awake but not so much to keep us distracted from our surroundings. So next time you are in a meeting or a boring lecture, try tracing simple shapes and see if it helps. Of course its not going to be good for everyone, so here is my disclaimer: use at your own risk parental discretion is advised.
Now for you master doodlers out there, here is a list of some of the things that your little art pieces could mean.
Triangles, squares , geometrical shapes: Geometrical shapes may indicate that the person has got a rational and logical way of thinking. This person may also be a good planner. Drawing a triangle sometimes signifies the internal desire of going up or advancing in your career or social life.
Arrows, ladders Arrows and ladders may indicate that the person is ambitious, obsessed about some goals and looking forward to some achievements.
Doodling Good Looking Faces: Good looking faces may indicate that the person is social, people loving and optimistic.
Doodling Funny faces: Funny faces may indicate that the person has a good sense of humor
Doodling Ugly Faces ugly faces may indicate that the person is not a social person, lacking self confidence, skeptic, bad tempered or even aggressive.
Doodling Stars: Stars may indicate optimism and hopefulness.
Doodling Houses: May indicate that the person is missing his home, wanting a family, or wanting to settle down.
Doodling Flowers and plants May indicate that the person is sensitive, warm and kind
Doodling hearts : Means that the person is suffering from Socio-anti-complex-bio-disorder , well, just kidding 🙂 simply he is in love or in need of a relation 🙂
Doodling 3D shapes: Shows the presence of the ability to see the full picture and all aspects of an issue or at least the desire to do so
Doodling underlined names: underlining a name with one or two lines may indicate that this person is important (whose name is underlined)
Doodling Food: May indicate real hunger or emotional hunger
Doodling Animals love for animals or sensitivity
Doodling cars, plans, trains: Shows a desire for traveling ,freedom or the need for a holiday
Doodling Weapons guns, pistols and swords may indicate competitiveness and the presence of a warrior’s spirit
Disclaimer #2: This is for amusement only! Don’t take anything too seriously and seek psychiatric help.
Let me know what things you end up doodling when you should be paying attention!