How Drawing Can Help Improve Your Memory, According to Research
Filed to: MEMORY
If you need help jogging your memory, you might try your hand at drawing. A recent study found that we remember items better when we draw them rather than write them down.
In a study published in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers conducted a series of experiments asking subjects to draw or write down different items. Overall, the study found that subjects were better able to recall the items when they drew them.
For example, in one of the studies, subjects were given a few different tasks with different series of words. They had to either write them down, draw them, visualize them, list attributes of the word, or look at a picture of the word in context. Subjects were more likely to remember the words that were drawn, leading the researchers to conclude:
Together these experiments indicate that drawing enhances memory relative to writing, across settings, instructions, and alternate encoding strategies, both within- and between-participants, and that a deep LoP, visual imagery, or picture superiority, alone or collectively, are not sufficient to explain the observed effect. We propose that drawing improves memory by encouraging a seamless integration of semantic, visual, and motor aspects of a memory trace.
To put these findings into practice, New York Magazine suggests drawing your to-do list. This can help you remember what you have to do and stay focused on those tasks throughout the day. This tip may also be useful for studying, though, and creating a visual mind map can help with brainstorming projects, too.
Of course, this is just one study, and your own results might vary, but it’s worth a shot. Overall, it may help certain ideas and concepts stick. For more information, check out the links below.
The drawing effect: Evidence for reliable and robust memory benefits in free recall | The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology