Leslie Baker, Psy.D., is a 2016 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle
Suzanne Engelberg, Ph.D., Committee Chair
Jude Bergkamp, Psy.D., Committee Member
Luke Rinne, Ph.D., Committee Member
Despite art-based learning being widely used, existing data are primarily qualitative, and most research has not isolated particular variables such as memory for empirical study. The few experiments that have been conducted demonstrated that drawing improves free recall of unpaired words, and retention improves after lessons integrated with drawing, drama, and narrative exercises. To help fill the gap in the current literature, the present study compared the effectiveness of encoding and the rate of memory decay between a drawing mnemonic and note taking on a paired associates task. Using a within-subjects experimental design, participants were presented with word pairs and asked to complete either a drawing mnemonic (DM) or note taking (NT) to assist memorization. Participants were tested immediately after the word pair presentation and after a 20-minute delay. Results supported the hypothesis that the DM condition would produce superior encoding, as evidenced by greater retention on the immediate test. However, no memory decay was observed in the experiment, and therefore results on the delayed test were inconclusive. In fact, scores for the NT condition improved over time whereas the scores for the DM condition did not, which might imply that note taking results in a different consolidation process than drawing. Findings from this study suggested that arts integration can be an effective method to support memory for learned information. Future studies that examine the effect of rehearsal and the long-term effectiveness of a drawing mnemonic are warranted. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA, http://aura.antioch.edu/ and Ohio Link ETD Center, https://etd.ohiolink.edu/etd.
Baker Christensen, L. M. (2016). Artistic Drawing as a Mnemonic Device. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/318