Doodling is not a sign of being inattentive or bored. In fact a latest study has stated that doodling helps the mind stay focused and prevents it from day dreaming. They state that doodling could aid the mind to remain alert during the performance of tedious tasks. This study was conducted by Plymouth University.
For the purpose of the study about 40 subjects were tested for their memory. These subjects were asked to listen to a phone call and try to recall the names and places mentioned in the call. The study investigators found that doodlers performed 29 percent better than the non-doodlers.
Lead author of the study, Jackie Andrade, says that, “If someone is doing a boring task, like listening to a dull telephone conversation, they may start to daydream. Daydreaming distracts them from the task, resulting in poor performance. A simple task, like doodling, may be sufficient to stop daydreaming without affecting performance on the main task.”
“Doodling is a relatively undemanding task so this makes sense. The temptation during meetings or telephone conversations that you are not particularly engaged with is to start thinking about things. You visualize things such as holidays. That then takes you away from the task at hand. Or you may even end up nodding off. However, by comparison, doodling is not that taxing and keeps you more alert so you are more likely to absorb what is being said,” says Professor Alan Badeley, from the British Psychological Society.
They state that day dreaming distracts a person from concentrating on efficiently performing the task at hand. Doodling on the other hand does not require a lot of mental energy, thus it prevents the mind from day dreaming and does not completely distract the person from their task.
Their findings are published online in Applied Cognitive Psychology journal.