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Mind Mapping Benefits: Based on Research!

by Rinku Khumukcham
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By- Md. Nasir Khan

During a training session a student asked me: How is Mind Mapping linked to thinking? My answer was simple: “The soul never thinks without a mental image.” ~ Aristotle.
During June this year (2020), I coached a small team of graduates on how to Mind Map and memorize anything you learn; a few tips on note-taking and productive learning. Few days later some of the delegates visited me and expressed how easily they could capture and learn any information within few minutes after they Mind Mapped an information. Learning has now become more fun and a never tiring brain exercise as was before. The visual nature of a mind map helped you recall information better. The simplicity of mind mapping allowed you to capture your ideas more quickly.
Research-Backed Benefits:
According to research, mind mapping improves learning, information recall, productivity, creativity, and more.
1. It Enables Meaningful Learning
In “Making Learning Visible: The Role of Concept Mapping in Higher Education,” researchers define three levels of learning:
Non-learning is used to describe a state where there’s no measurable difference between a student’s knowledge before and after being taught new material.
Rote learning is used to describe when new knowledge is learned but not connected to any existing knowledge a student has on the subject.
Meaningful learning is used to describe when students have acquired new knowledge and have connected that new knowledge to knowledge they already had.
The researchers define meaningful learning as change, which is “a consequence of the integration of new material and the prior knowledge structure.” It was confirmed during the research that Mind Mapping helps a learner connects existing ideas with the new knowledge. Mind Map evolves around a central idea and form connections between ideas; existing and new; and begin to exaggerate the information making associations.
2. It Helps with Memorization and Retention
Back when writing things down was much more expensive and time-consuming, Greeks and Romans used a visualization technique called loci to memorize and recall information. Essentially, they would develop mental visuals for the things they needed to remember, allowing them to recall large amounts of information—such as an entire speech—at will.
Mind mapping is a similar technique to loci, and as W. Martin Davies writes in his study “Concept Mapping, Mind Mapping and Argument Mapping: What are the Differences and Do They Matter,” it provides the same benefits for memorization and information retention.
“Diagrams are more easily stored in memory than other kinds of representational formats,” Davies writes. “Mind Maps allow the separate encoding of information in memory in visual and well as propositional (written) form.”
In another study— “The Efficacy of the Mind Map Study Technique”—researchers found that studying with mind maps helped boost retention by 10-15%.
3. It’s a More Engaging Form of Learning
Davies also argues that “meaningful engagement is a critical factor in promoting deeper learning.” Unfortunately, some of the most common learning methods—such as listening to a lecture or reading a textbook—do not create meaningful engagement. When you Mind Map you actively engage in the process of brainstorming, generate ideas by making associations and connections. Davies suggests the use of Mind Maps as a process of active learning tool and insists students to create Mind maps of their learning and compare it with their classmates for additional learning activities.
4. It Makes Complex Issues Easier to Understand
In his 2017 survey, Chuck Frey of Mind Mapping Software Blog, most respondents said that the biggest benefit of mind mapping is that it helps them form an “improved understanding of complex issues.”
One major factor how a complex issue can be made easier to understand using Mind Map is its power to overview and its radiant and organic nature.
Survey results show that mind mapping simplifies these complex tasks:
92% of respondents said that mind mapping helps them “distill information and reach clarity faster”
83% said mind mapping helps them “share their ideas with greater clarity and impact”
81% said mind mapping helps them “manage projects more efficiently”
67% said it helps them “identify the root causes of business problems”
And when Frey asked respondents “Does your mind mapping enable you to tackle more complex tasks and projects that you would have previously avoided?” 67% said yes. Chuck Frey conduct this survey every two year to uncover the use cases for and benefits of Mind Mapping in business.
5. It Improves Your Productivity
One key takeaway from Frey’s survey was that it boosts your productivity. Frey writes: “On average, mind mapping helps executives to be 20-30% more productive in their work.” That finding, he says, has been consistent across every survey he’s conducted in eight years.
16.7% of the respondents to Frey’s survey say that mind mapping saves them 7+ hours a week. Another 30.7% say it saves them 3-7 hours per week, and 41.4% say it saves them 1-3 hours per week.
6. It Ignites Your Creativity
Frey’s survey uncover that Mind Mapping ignites creativity. In fact, beginner and expert users alike said that mind mapping provides them with a 50% increase in creativity. According to Mark Dykeman, mind mapping helps ignite your creativity because you can “get your ideas on paper as quickly as possible, and “you can empty out your head when inspiration strikes.”
“Mind mapping is a technique based on memory and creativity and comprehension and understanding, so when the student or a child uses the mind map, they are using their brain in the way their brain was designed to be used, and so the mind helps them in all learning and cognitive skills. It simply helps them in what the brain does naturally.” ~ Tony Buzan, Inventor of Mind Mapping.
7. It Improves Your Writing
In a 2009 study, researchers looked at the writing of two groups of students. One group received traditional in-class writing instruction with textbooks and lectures. The second group received this instruction as well as mind mapping that they were instructed to use for each writing assignment.
The study found that students in the group that used mind mapping “made higher gains in writing achievement as a result.” Their results “showed more relevant details and better organized and connected ideas than paragraphs written by the control groups.”
In my research between 2018 and midst of 2020, to 100s of teachers and over 1000s of students which I personally coached; 90% of the respondents says they are more organized and improve their comprehension after using Mind Maps. One reason they cited is the use of key words, images, codes, colors and the organic nature of the Mind Maps.
The Biggest Mind Mapping Benefit Is Its Flexibility
We’ve seen that there are no limitations on the use of Mind Mapping. Ranging from a school child to an administrator of an office, Mind Mapping generates creative thinking skills, presents an idea into pictures in a single page and help solves complex problems with easy overviewing nature, easy to memorize an information and easy reviewing; and the best note-taking tool.
Here are a few examples:
Ø Teachers can use Mind Map to lesson plan, prepare presentation, analysis, reviews etc.
Ø Students can use to take notes, exam revisions, memorizing, brainstorming, creativity etc.
Ø Research team can use to brainstorm and collaborate
Ø Writers can use to sketch out their stories and character profile
Ø Speakers can use to sketch out their speech and talks non-stop without looking at any hand out notes
1. The Creativity and Productivity Blog: FOCUS
2. Making Learning Visible: Role of Concept Mapping in Higher Education
3. Concept Mapping, Mind Mapping and Argument Mapping: What are the differences and Do They Matter ~ W. Martin
4. The Efficacy of the Mind Map Study Technique
5. Mind Mapping Software Blog – Chuck Frey .
(The writer is the Director: MS Creative School, Kwakta, Manipur. He can be reached at Email: [email protected] or whatsapp: +91-9612016722)

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