Seminar Series

Does drawing facilitate recall in children?

In several studies it has been observed that asking young children to make a drawing of a personally experienced event can increase the amount of information subsequently recalled about that event. Further studies were carried out to examine the causes of this facilitation and to define the conditions under which it occurs. The results indicated that an external instantiation or representation of a recalled item can cue recall of further linked items, but that drawing may have other effects in addition. Under some conditions, for example, making a drawing actually reduced recall rather than facilitating it; suggesting that the drawing could be a distraction. Furthermore, there were indications in the data that some of the reported facilitation of recall by drawing may actually be enhanced reporting of generic information about the kind of event concerned rather than specific memories. (authors: Glyn Thomas and Laura Davison)