Everybody has seen it, some people hate it: people who doodle during meetings, lectures, or presentations. These people are often accused of not paying attention during said event, and are asked questions like "are you bored or something?" However, a recent study performed by psychologist Jackie Andrade at the University of Plymouth proves the opposite.
In her study, forty participants were divided into two even groups and asked to listen to a dull recording that explained the details of a twenty-first birthday party. Half of the participants were asked to shade in small circles and squares on a sheet of paper; all forty of the participants were required to record the names of the party attendees.
Afterwards, all forty of the participants were required to orally recall the names of the party attendees. The results showed that those who doodled remembered 29% more information than those who didn't. As for the reasoning, Andrade theorizes that doodling requires less cognitive focus than daydreaming.
Two CHS teachers illustrate and advocate the positive effects of doodling: English teacher Brenda Lanphear and industrial tech instructor Clete Budler. Both teachers often doodle on spare pieces of paper or on the sides and backs of handouts given to them in meetings, presentations, and lectures.
"[Doodling] helps me focus on listening," said Budler. "By having my mind occupied with listening, I'm less apt to say something that is out of context."
On a similar note, Lanphear expressed that doodling helps her "tune into what [the presenter] is saying instead of how [she feels] about it."
Budler often finds himself sketching mountain scenes when the presenter is dull. They are usually heavy in detail; if they aren't flowing, though, he will doodle geometric perspective drawings instead. Lanphear, on the other hand, fills her papers with smaller, simpler doodles of pond scenes, flowers (usually tulips), or broken infinity symbols with shells stemming off of them.
Both teachers commented that doodling does not distract them from the task at hand - it's just a way to keep their hands moving and their minds from idling.