Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Drawing locks info in memory

I am not quite sure what relevance this has to office life, but researchers at the Univ of Waterloo (IA) have found that drawing pictures of information enhances memory of it. (Quarterly J of Experimental Psychology)

They pitted drawing against a number of other "encoding strategies" and drawing always came out on top.

They gave their test subjs easily drawn words--such as apple--and then the students had 40 secs to draw the word or write it repeatedly. Then they got a filler task of classifying musical notes to help the retention process. Finally they were were asked to recall as many of the words as they could in 60 seconds.

The students often recalled twice as many drawn words as written ones.

Drawing the words repeatedly or enhancing the written words with doodles and shading did not change those results.

Of course, remembering the word apple is not often called for in business...How can we draw say the results of a spreadsheet?

Or--maybe--this is is accounting for the rise of infographics...? I have no idea. Do you?

I know other studies have shown that taking hand notes is better for memory than typing notes on your laptop. I would guess the wonders of the brain are involved in all this.

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