Mind map

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A hand-drawn mind map

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing.

The elements of a given mind map are arranged intuitively according to the importance of the concepts, and are classified into groupings, branches, or areas, with the goal of representing semantic or other connections between portions of information. Mind maps may also aid recall of existing memories.

By presenting ideas in a radial, graphical, non-linear manner, mind maps encourage a brainstorming approach to planning and organizational tasks. Though the branches of a mindmap represent hierarchical tree structures, their radial arrangement disrupts the prioritizing of concepts typically associated with hierarchies presented with more linear visual cues. This orientation towards brainstorming encourages users to enumerate and connect concepts without a tendency to begin within a particular conceptual framework.

The mind map can be contrasted with the similar idea of concept mapping. The former is based on radial hierarchies and tree structures denoting relationships with a central governing concept, whereas concept maps are based on connections between concepts in more diverse patterns.


[edit] History

Mind maps (or similar concepts) have been used for centuries in learning, brainstorming, memory, visual thinking, and problem solving by educators, engineers, psychologists, and others. Some of the earliest examples of mind maps were developed by Porphyry of Tyros, a noted thinker of the 3rd century, as he graphically visualized the concept categories of Aristotle. Philosopher Ramon Llull (1235 - 1315) also used mind maps.

The semantic network was developed in the late 1950s as a theory to understand human learning and developed into mind maps by Allan Collins and M. Ross Quillian during the early 1960s. Due to his commitment and published research, and his work with learning, creativity, and graphical thinking, Collins can be considered the father of the modern mind map.[citation needed]

British popular psychology author Tony Buzan claims to have invented modern mind mapping. He claimed the idea was inspired by Alfred Korzybski's general semantics as popularized in science fiction novels, such as those of Robert A. Heinlein and A. E. van Vogt. Buzan argues that while 'traditional' outlines force readers to scan left to right and top to bottom, readers actually tend to scan the entire page in a non-linear fashion. Buzan also uses popular assumptions about the cerebral hemispheres in order to promote the exclusive use of mind mapping over other forms of note making.

The mind map continues to be used in various forms, and for various applications including learning and education (where it is often taught as 'Webs', 'Mind webs', or 'Webbing'), planning, and in engineering diagramming.

When compared with the concept map (which was developed by learning experts in the 1970s) the structure of a mind map is a similar radial, but is simplified by having one central key word.

[edit] Uses

Rough mindmap notes taken during a course session

A mind map is often created around a single word or text, placed in the center, to which associated ideas, words and concepts are added.

Mind maps have many applications in personal, family, educational, and business situations, including notetaking, brainstorming (wherein ideas are inserted into the map radially around the center node, without the implicit prioritization that comes from hierarchy or sequential arrangements, and wherein grouping and organizing is reserved for later stages), summarizing, revising, and general clarifying of thoughts. One could listen to a lecture, for example, and take down notes using mind maps for the most important points or keywords. One can also use mind maps as a mnemonic technique or to sort out a complicated idea. Mind maps are also promoted as a way to collaborate in color pen creativity sessions.

Mindmaps can be drawn by hand, either as 'rough notes' during a lecture or meeting, for example, or can be more sophisticated in quality. Examples of both are illustrated. There are also a number of software packages available for producing mind maps (see below).

[edit] Effectiveness in learning

Buzan[1] claims that the mind map is a vastly superior note taking method because it does not lead to a "semi-hypnotic trance" state induced by other note forms. Buzan also argues that the mind map utilizes the full range of left and right human cortical skills, balances the brain, taps into the alleged 99% of your unused mental potential, as well as intuition (which he calls "superlogic"). However, scholarly research suggests that such claims may actually be marketing hype based on misconceptions about the brain and the cerebral hemispheres. Critics argue that hemispheric specialization theory has been identified as pseudoscientific when applied to mind mapping.[2]

Scholarly research by Farrand, Hussain, and Hennessy (2002) found that the mind map technique had a limited but significant impact on memory recall in undergraduate students (a 10% increase over baseline for a 600-word text only) as compared to preferred study methods (a −6% increase over baseline). This improvement was only robust after a week for those in the mind map group, and there was a significant decrease in motivation compared to the subjects' preferred methods of note taking. Farrand et al. suggested that learners preferred to use other methods because using a mind map was an unfamiliar technique, and its status as a "memory enhancing" technique engendered reluctance to apply it.[3] Pressley, VanEtten, Yokoi, Freebern, and VanMeter (1998) found that learners tended to learn far better by focusing on the content of learning material rather than worrying over any one particular form of note taking.[4]

[edit] Tools

Mind mapping software can be used effectively to organize large amounts of information, combining spatial organization, dynamic hierarchical structuring and node folding. Software packages can extend the concept of mind mapping by allowing individuals to map more than thoughts & ideas with information on their computers and the internet, like spreadsheets, documents, internet sites and images.

[edit] Trademarks

The use of the term "Mind Maps" is claimed as a trademark by The Buzan Organisation, Ltd. in the UK[5] and the USA.[6] The trade-mark does not appear in the records of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.[7] In the U.S. "Mind Maps" is trademarked as a "service mark" expressly for "EDUCATIONAL SERVICES, NAMELY, CONDUCTING COURSES IN SELF-IMPROVEMENT" – other products and services are not covered by the trademark.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Buzan, Tony. (2000). The Mind Map Book, Penguin Books, 1996. ISBN 978-0452273221
  2. ^ Williams (2000) Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience. Facts on file. ISBN 978-0816033515
  3. ^ Farrand, P.; Hussain, F.; Hennessy, E. (2002). "The efficacy of the mind map study technique". Medical Education 36 (5): 426–431. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2923.2002.01205.x. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118952400/abstract. Retrieved on 2009-02-16. 
  4. ^ Pressley, M., VanEtten, S., Yokoi, L., Freebern, G., & VanMeter, P. (1998). "The metacognition of college studentship: A grounded theory approach". In: D. J. Hacker, J. Dunlosky, & A. C. Graesser (Eds.), Metacognition in Theory and Practice (pp. 347-367). Mahwah NJ: Erlbaum ISBN 9780805824810
  5. ^ Trade Mark 1424476, UK Intellectual Property Office, filed Nov. 1990
  6. ^ US Trademark, USPTO Trademark Application and Registration Retrieval system
  7. ^ Canadian Intellectual Property Office

[edit] Further reading

  • Novak, J. D. (1993), "How do we learn our lesson?: Taking students through the process". The Science Teacher, 60(3), 50-55 (ISSN 0036-8555)
  • Walther Hermann & Viviani Bovo (2005) Mapas Mentais: Enriquecendo Inteligências- Manual de Aprendizagem e Desenvolvimento de Inteligências"; (p XI 27, 331). Ed IDPH
  • Nast, J. (2006). Idea Mapping: how to access your hidden brain power, learn faster, remember more, and achieve success in business. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0471788621
  • Jean-Luc Deladrière, Frédéric Le Bihan, Pierre Mongin, Denis Rebaud, Organisez vos idées avec le Mind Mapping. Dunod, December 2006. ISBN 2-1005-0627-7

[edit] External links

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