Often teachers will tell children to stop doodling and listen – however stopping doodling could have the opposite effect.
Research by Jackie Andrade had 40 participants monitored during a monotonous mock telephone message for the names of people coming to a party. Half of the group was randomly assigned to a doodling condition where they shaded printed shapes while listening to the telephone call. The doodling group performed better on the monitoring task and recalled 29% more information on a surprise memory test. Unlike many dual task situations, doodling while working can be beneficial.Andrade, J. (2010). What does doodling do? Applied Cognitive Psychology, 24 (1), 100-106 DOI: 10.1002/acp.1561