Scholars Turn Their Attention to Attention - The Chronicle Review
Imagine that driving across town, you've fallen into a reverie, meditating on lost loves or calculating your next tax payments. You're so distracted that you rear-end the car in front of you at 10 miles an hour. You probably think: Damn. My fault. My mind just wasn't there. By contrast, imagine that you drive across town in a state of mild exhilaration, multitasking on your way to a sales meeting. That illusion of competence is one of the things that worry scholars who study attention, cognition, and the classroom. "Heavy multitaskers are often extremely confident in their abilities," says Clifford I. Indeed, last summer Nass and two colleagues published a study that found that self-described multitaskers performed much worse on cognitive and memory tasks that involved distraction than did people who said they preferred to focus on single tasks. Experiments like that one have added fuel to the perpetual debate about whether laptops should be allowed in classrooms. Wait a minute.
Related: Multitasking Bad!
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