My NPJ Science of Learning Interview – ‘Educational implications of attention and distraction in teenagers’

The Nature partner journal ‘Science of Learning’ website is another useful addition to the increasing number of resources encouraging a more scientific approach to education and learning.

It’s also just gone up in my estimations greatly (!) as they’ve published an interview with me about my PhD work. Read it here. If you’re a teacher or researcher and any of this sounds interesting to you, please feel free to get in contact.

 

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My NPJ Science of Learning Interview – ‘Educational implications of attention and distraction in teenagers’

2 thoughts on “My NPJ Science of Learning Interview – ‘Educational implications of attention and distraction in teenagers’

  1. Madeleine Figueroa says:

    Hi my name is madeleine can i ask what tool did you use to measure the attention span of teenagers? Actually im currently researching about this topic and i am having a hard time locating one and suddenly i saw this post so i am hoping that you can help me with that.

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    1. Hi Madeline. Glad you found the interview interesting. Measuring ‘attention span’ is a difficult thing to do (for anyone) as your ability to direct and control your attention is so dependent on so many other factors. It will be constantly changing depending on your interest, motivation, physical state, the features of the information coming in, and lots more. Instead I would suggest that it is more useful to try to measure perceptual capacity (how much information we can take in at any one time) and working memory capacity (roughly, how much information we can manipulate at any one time). Both of these have a bearing on our ability to attend to stimuli, or whether we are distracted by anything new.

      The experimental tasks I use tend to be based on attentional load paradigms (using irrelevant distractors) – variations of the sort that are described here: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nilli_Lavie/publication/5475815_Failures_to_Ignore_Entirely_Irrelevant_Distractors_The_Role_of_Load/links/0912f50b4b07baf8cc000000/Failures-to-Ignore-Entirely-Irrelevant-Distractors-The-Role-of-Load.pdf Similar types of design were used with developmental samples here: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Joel_Nigg/publication/11366430_Development_of_selective_attention_Perceptual_load_influences_early_versus_late_attentional_selection_in_children_and_adults/links/556602e308aec22682ff151c.pdf

      For other measurements that have been used to investigate attention in adolescence, you might like this earlier blog post: https://hobbolog.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/the-age-of-distraction-what-do-we-know-about-attention-during-adolescence/

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