7 thoughts on “I Am Not A Doodler”

  1. Just like the sense of smell is linked to memory, I know that images of certain events stick in my head rather vividly, even when I wasn’t necessarily paying attention to them. I have a feeling that shading in shapes while listening allows one to associate those shapes with what they’re hearing at the time, even if they’re not directly paying attention. I wonder if the shapes were all different or not, though, as that would likely affect the test results.

    Of course, the premise is that “doodling isn’t as harmful to memory as once thought”, but I’d be willing to bet that a third group actively taking notes would have blown both study groups clear out of the water, so the alternate premise that “doodling in class isn’t all that bad” is a little bit difficult to accept.

  2. But, I wonder if you can “become” a doodler? It seems to me that people either doodle, or they don’t.

    I tend to doodle either attached semi-circles that look like flames, or overlapping 3D rectangles. My mother does almost the same thing. My father didn’t doodle neither do my siblings. Maybe doodles are a genetic thing, like musical or math skills.

    And is shading in given shapes the same as doodling?

  3. FWIW I find that opening a copy of FreeCell while talking on the phone helps me to concentrate. It’s almost as though my brain needs to modulate itself during the lulls in conversation. When the talk picks up, I stop clicking, and when it wanders into irrelevancies, I start moving cards around….


  4. bbbeard

    I find that opening a copy of FreeCell while talking on the phone helps me to concentrate

    Yeah, I do that. Unfortunately my boss didn’t buy the story.
    (Well, you have to finish the game when the phone call is over.)

  5. Well I suspect the key fact here is that it improves memory when you’re listening to boring stuff where your mind is prone to wander. Giving yourself a little semi-mindless task so your brain doesn’t wander off in contemplation of something truly interesting and entirely lose track of what’s going on seems to help. I expect it’s also why some of us tap or feet or drum our fingers when we’re listening to something that’s not very interesting. Without that little task for the brain to run, it might wander off in contemplation of the true meaning of the smile the hot barista at Starbucks gave us this morning, and then there’s no way we’ll remember what the Vice-President in charge of Vice Presidencies was saying about statutory fnords.

  6. I’m a chronic doodler but I don’t know that it’s done much for my memory. Well, actually, I’m great at remembering irrelevant trivia. The stuff I’m actually supposed to remember, not so much.

  7. Hmm, this might explain my ability to retain scattered, irrelevant, and inane facts.

    I usually draw blank squares next to shaded in squares in a building block fashion. Or, I just attach the squares end to end and snake the trail in and out amongst itself until I end up with a spaghetti/DNA looking mess at the end of the lecture.

    Or, I just draw a bunch of army men and wage a mini battle in the corner of my paper. You know, barbarians versus confederate civil war soldiers or something like that.

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