Monday, 15 December 2014

Want to learn something better? Draw it

When you're trying to learn, do something with your new knowledge, such as summarising it or explaining it to someone else. This deepens your memories and helps integrate what you've learned with what you already knew. A new study has tested the benefits of another beneficial learning activity - drawing.

Annett Schmeck and her team asked 48 German school-kids (average age 14) to read a 850-word passage about the biology of influenza, broken down into seven paragraphs. This was an unfamiliar topic to the teens, and they knew they were going to be tested on the content afterwards.

Crucially, half the pupils were asked to produce a drawing for each of the paragraphs, to depict visually the content of the paragraphs. They were assisted by a basic background image of a cell (or similar), and a legend showing basic components their drawing should include, such as an antibody. The other pupils only had the text to study and they acted as a control group. All participating pupils worked at their own pace.

There were two tests on the scientific text: a multi-choice comprehension test, and a drawing test that involved drawing key concepts from the text. The group who'd produced drawings while they were learning out-performed the control group on both the multiple-choice (scoring 61 per cent correct on average vs. 44 per cent) and the drawing test (scoring 52 per cent on average vs. 28 per cent).

This first experiment has some obvious limitations that Schmeck and her team sought to address in a follow-up involving 168 more pupils (average age 14). Most importantly, the researchers showed that drawing each paragraph of the to-be-learned text led to superior test performance (63 per cent correct on multiple choice, on average), even when compared to a condition in which pupils were instead provided with drawings produced by the author of the scientific text  (53 per cent correct). The better the pupils' drawings, the more successful they were in the tests afterwards.

The researchers said that drawing has this benefit for learning because it "encourages learners to engage in generative cognitive processing during learning such as organising the relevant information into a coherent structure, and integrating it with relevant prior knowledge from long-term memory."

The results come with a number of caveats - the study material in this research was scientific and involved a causal chain of events. It's not clear if drawing will also help people learn other kinds of content. Moreover, the tests took place right after the learning phase, so it's not known if the benefits of drawing will be long-lasting. Also, it's worth noting that this research looked at assisted drawing - that is, the pupils were given a background image to draw upon and told what graphic elements to include. The researchers concluded: "drawing during learning appears to be a potentially powerful strategy for improving students' learning from scientific text when certain boundaries and prerequisites are taken into account."


Schmeck, A., Mayer, R., Opfermann, M., Pfeiffer, V., & Leutner, D. (2014). Drawing pictures during learning from scientific text: testing the generative drawing effect and the prognostic drawing effect Contemporary Educational Psychology, 39 (4), 275-286 DOI: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2014.07.003

--further reading--
How to study
The Digest guide to ... studying

Post written by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.


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Research Digest said...

I stumbled upon this study tactic over trial
and error after never learning how to study in school, and then giving
up on school to join the military. I can absorb information fairly well
in lecture, but in the service I was tasked with learning aircraft
maintenance. You can't just "absorb" that shit without any experience
because its all schematics and diagrams and numbers. So I got as far as
I could by just absorbing info until I hit a road block and failed some
tests. Over time I tried note-taking in various ways, listening to
lectures on tape, peer discussion, etc. It wasn't until I started
literally drawing the engines and the paths of air flow, fuel flow,
components, etc, almost redrawing the schematics interlaced with my own
notes and then redrawing when I had a better understanding, before I
understood what I was doing. This was my new way of study, and it
worked for me. I became a flight mechanic by studying the NATOPS
manuals, shop manuals, and factory manuals, combining them and redrawing
the schematics into my own draft-language with colors and highlights
and everything. After like the 10th iteration of the drawings of the
various systems of the plane the drawings became very robust and I
passed them onto the youngsters in the squadron for study tools. I
found out early on that after I drew the pictures I could just recall
that image in my head whenever I wanted; it was like I found a cheat
code. It's just my anecdotal experience, but seriously to this day I am
a 32 year old man who draws pictures of the things he wants to

Research Digest said...

Very interesting! Whatever be the reason, one thing is for sure- it is technique to hide from others. Adults do it too, if not as frequently as children, especially when they feel embarrassed or ashamed. Here's why embarrassment makes them do it

Research Digest said...

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Research Digest said...

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Research Digest said...

Just as i thought. That might be the reason men especially young men have for going to war to fight for food for the family needs and pride. At the same time making sexual bonds with other men gay or bisexual improving the energy within the group very well known to Roman solider's Roman history who visited male prostitutes.

To working class young men war might be a way to live the dream of sexual fantasy. But men should refuse to fight world wide. Let the so called top fight own battle or even a cyber game. Better to see Mediators that's what they exist for. I want war to end. Modify male libido with healthy supplements. Promote peace and co operation.

I really believe if the young men who are gay mix more with straight men peace will quickly come to men. One writer : google- thinks gay men In prehistory may have been seen as peace makers mediators healers. Google 'tbinking about the gay male brain' I agree. Modern society banned free adult true sexual expression and war expanded into pure evil?

Men were meant to love men and women hence the g spot. Men were pushed into unnatrual social roles that were only meant for some of the men this caused them unfair social pressure. Not all men are hetrosexual only some.

We have to remember war these days is manipulated by generals politicians and buisiness. The modern reason is even worse because the countries involved have the options to talk and communicate. Just taking land cant work today.

War must end has to end .

I respect men who go to the gym work off that aggression look beautiful inspire people around them even turn people on the nice big muscle is the converted energy it can be done whilst having adult relationships that are true to them.

War is no longer needed but is being promoted for profit. Even the horrible computer games keep it alive. I say destroy those games as a global we will have peace day.

When I was 16 ,a gang I hung with almost raped a girl they happily started to do it by pushing her. As a gay man I stopped it with compassion and sence. Even if it had been a guy as the victim I would have stopped it even if tempted.

Conchitta Wurst the singer does a lot of work with the U.n on peace and diversity. Her His natrual role! I Think a good example of the article I mentioned

Research Digest said...

Hi. I must say that many Enuchs were not real. The real guys were natrually feminine like 'conchitta wurst ' sensual and soft and kind proper laby men The others were castrated men gay or straight who worked with royal women to stop them having sex. I'm sure the straight men wanted revenge as per norn. I have known lady boys they really are special like dieties. Yet men harmed them over the last 4.500 years not so much before tbat. Modern religion changed all this

Research Digest said...

most are psychopaths, which would explain why they think they are normal... or above average.

Research Digest said...

If they actually have those three qualities, then they should not have been in jail in the first place. The only excuse would be if they are falsely accused of crimes they did not commit.

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