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Counting the cost of an absent mind: Mind wandering as an underrecognized influence on educational performance


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Successful learning requires that individuals integrate information from the external environment with their own internal representations. In this article, we consider the role that mind wandering plays in education. Mind wandering represents a state of decoupled attention because, instead of processing information from the external environment, our attention is directed toward our own private thoughts and feelings. In principle, because mind wandering is a state of decoupled attention, it represents a fundamental breakdown in the individual's ability to attend (and therefore integrate) information from the external environment. We consider evidence that mind wandering impairs the encoding of information, leading to failures in building a propositional model of a sentence and, ultimately, impairing the building of a narrative model with sufficient detail to allow generating inferences. Next, because recognizing and correcting for mind wandering is a metacognitive skill, certain client groups, such as those suffering from dysphoria or attention deficit disorder, may be unable to correct for the deficits associated with mind wandering, and so may suffer greater negative consequences during education. Finally, we consider how to apply this research to educational settings.
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Mind-wandering and educational performance
Counting the Cost of an Absent Mind
Mind-wandering as an under recognized influence on educational performance
In Press
Psychonomic Bulletin and Review
Jonathan Smallwood
University of Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Daniel J Fishman & Jonathan W Schooler
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Address for correspondence
Jonathan Smallwood
School of Psychology,
University of Aberdeen,
Aberdeen, AB24 2UB
Mind-wandering and educational performance
Successful learning requires that individuals integrate information from the external
environment with their own internal representations. In this paper we consider the role
that mind-wandering plays in education. Mind-wandering represents a state of decoupled
attention because instead of processing information from the external environment our
attention is directed to our own private thoughts and feelings. In principle, because mind-
wandering is a state of decoupled attention it represents a fundamental breakdown in the
individuals’ ability to attend and therefore integrate information from the external
environment. We consider evidence that mind-wandering impairs the encoding of
information leading to failures in building a propositional model of a sentence and,
ultimately, impairing the building of a narrative model with sufficient detail to generate
inferences. Next, because recognizing and correcting for mind-wandering is a meta-
cognitive skill, certain client groups, such as those suffering from dysphoria or attention
deficit disorder, may be unable to correct for the deficits associated with mind-wandering
and so may suffer from greater consequences during education. Finally, we consider how
to apply this research to educational settings.
Key words: attentional lapse, cascading model of comprehension failure,
daydreaming, mind-wandering, meta-awareness, task unrelated thought, stimulus
independent thought.
Mind-wandering and educational performance
Many of the activities that take place in schools and colleges require that the
students attend to the classroom environment for a sustained period. In many of these
environments it is common to catch our minds wandering and notice that instead of
paying attention for some time, our awareness has been directed elsewhere. We can refer
to these in-attentional private experiences as attentional lapses (Robertson et al., 1997), as
daydreaming (Singer, 1966), or as mind-wandering (Singer, 1966, Antrobus, 1968,
Giambra, 1995, Teasdale et al. 1995, Wegner, 1997, Smallwood and Schooler, in press).
In this paper we consider the role that mind-wandering plays in educational settings.
First, we review studies demonstrating that mind-wandering impairs the performance on
a range of tasks. Second, we examine evidence that individuals who show poor meta-
cognitive skills are particularly vulnerable to the detrimental consequences of mind-
wandering. Finally, we consider the relation between the laboratory evidence on mind-
wandering and the classroom environment. Before doing so, it is necessary to consider
conceptions of the educational process in which learning emerges from the dynamic
interplay between student and the classroom.
Early in the last century education was informed by the work of behaviorists such
as Thorndike (1906). The teacher was seen as playing an active role in the process of
education, having responsibility for the pace, sequence and content of lessons (Baumann,
1988). As in other areas of psychology the cognitive revolution led to an increased
emphasis on the importance of internal representations in ‘meaning making’ (Bruner,
Mind-wandering and educational performance
1990) and education began to integrate concepts such as scripts (Shank and Abelson,
1977) or heuristics (Newel and Simon, 1972) into their vocabulary. Most recently,
educational researchers advocating a social constructionist perspective have suggested
that learning emerges from the interaction of individual and collective meanings within
the classroom environment (Cobb and Yackel, 1996). These perspectives have advocated
interventions in which private expertise is made public, for example, think aloud
protocols for problem solving (Flowers, 1992, Duffy et al. 1986). Educational
psychology has, therefore, recognized that “learning and understanding are regarded as
inherently social; and cultural activities and tools (ranging from symbol systems to
artifacts to language) are regarded as integral to conceptual development” (Palinscar,
1998, page 348). In the next section we consider how this integration occurs by
examining theoretical accounts of discourse processing.
Understanding the hierarchical processes involved in discourse processing.
The majority of education tools, whether based on lectures or text books, involve
discourse between individuals. Discourse comprehension is an ongoing process in which
the individual encodes information from the external environment and translates it into
terms which are consistent with their internal representations; integrating the novel
information when possible, modifying their schemas when necessary. Theories of
discourse analysis suggest it occurs at a number of levels which are broadly hierarchical
(Graesser, Singer and Trabasso 1994, Graesser and Wiemer-Hastings, 1999). The most
superficial level of discourse is the surface code which describes the exact phraseology of
the syntactical statement. The explicit propositional level is more abstract and captures
the meaning of the sentence in a form that transcends the explicit phrase. Finally at the
Mind-wandering and educational performance
most abstract level is the situational model (Graesser, Olde and Klettke, in press), which
describes what the text is about. Because the situational model is very general it often
requires information which is not contained in the explicit representation of the text such
as background knowledge. Moreover, the general nature of the situational model allows
the reader to form the inferences which are necessary for comprehension.
It is clear that advancement in learning depends upon students’ ability to integrate
information from the ‘public’ social environment with their ‘private’ internal
representations. The most obvious reason why mind-wandering is relevant to education
is that it represents a breakdown in the normal coupling between the internal and external
environments (Smallwood and Schooler, in press). When our minds wander the focus of
awareness ceases to involve the external environment in a meaningful way.
Mind-wandering occurs as part of the natural flow of experience. Unlike standard
psychological research, mind-wandering is an internally generated private experience and
so we cannot manipulate its frequency. Instead we take advantage of the inevitable
waxing and waning of attention throughout a cognitive task, and use thought sampling to
detect these changes in awareness as they occur. Mind-wandering can be measured using
either self caught measures, in which participants report whenever they notice their minds
have wandered, or using probe caught measures, in which participants are intermittently
probed and asked whether at that particular time they were mind-wandering. By
combining these different approaches it is possible to illuminate the separate processes
which lead the mind to wander (Smallwood and Schooler, in press).
Mind-wandering and educational performance
The natural flux in attention which occurs when the mind wanders leads to a state of
decoupled attention (Smallwood et al. 2003, Smallwood and Schooler, in press). Figure
One illustrates the contrast between the normal coupling of attention when learning
proceeds successfully and the state of decoupled attention when the mind wanders. On
the right, working memory is focused on information from both public and private
sources and so awareness is ‘coupled’ to the task. On the left, working memory is
focused on information which is private and so attention is decoupled from the primary
task. In the context of discourse processing we contend that mind-wandering prevents
the successful encoding of information from the environment and this relative absence of
facts put the individual at a disadvantage when forming the more general models needed
for reading.
-Insert Figure One about here-
A second reason why mind-wandering is important in education follows from the
fact that we often catch our minds wandering. We often come to realize that for some
time—despite our intent to pay attention—our awareness has been directed to our own
thoughts and feelings. This discrepancy between the contents of mind-wandering and the
awareness of the fact that we are off-task suggests that mind-wandering is a dissociation
in the content of meta-awareness (Schooler, 2002, Schooler & Schreiber, 2004;
Smallwood and Schooler, in press). We summarize research that suggests that in certain
client groups deficits in meta-cognitive skills may exacerbate the detrimental
consequences of mind-wandering and contribute to poor educational performance.
Mind-wandering as decoupled processing
Mind-wandering and educational performance
The most straightforward reasons why mind-wandering impacts upon educational
performance is because it represents a breakdown in the integration between public and
private representations necessary for learning. In this section we review evidence from
mind-wandering across a range of task. Some require only superficial engagement with
the environment, such as simple signal detection (Antrobus, 1968, Giambra, 1995).
Others involve moderate engagement with the environment, such as word learning
(Seibert and Ellis, 1991, Smallwood et al. 2003 a b, 2004, 2006). Tasks like reading,
however involve the ‘deepest’ engagement because they involve the creation of a
narrative (Schooler et al. 2005). The relation between mind-wandering and task
engagement is summarized on the left hand side of Figure Two. In the subsequent
section of this review we organize the literature on mind-wandering using this broad
classification as it parallels the hierarchical nature of discourse processes.
-Insert Figure Two-
Superficial engagement with the environment. Signal detection only requires
participants to attend to the environment in a superficial manner. Successful performance
requires detecting a single unique target from a stream of non-targets and responding
appropriately. Mind-wandering occurs frequently in signal detection - studies suggest
that 30 - 50% of the time is spent off task (Smallwood et al. 2004a b, Giambra, 1995).
Even when engaged in simple signal detection tasks mind-wandering has been associated
with poor performance (Antrobus, 1968, Giambra, 1995, Smallwood et al. 2004).
Mind-wandering and educational performance
Moderate engagement with the environment. Tasks such as list learning require
individuals to identify the stimulus and retain it for retrieval. Mind-wandering is less
frequent during word-learning than signal detection due to the greater demands for
encoding (Smallwood et al. 2004 b). Nonetheless, mind-wandering leads participants to
perform poorly during word learning. Participants are less accurate in their ability to
recall stimuli that were presented when verbal reports indicate attention was off task
(Seibert and Ellis, 1991, Smallwood et al. 2003 a b). When mind-wandering is disrupted
by an external event participants return their attention to the task and their memory for
environmental information returns (Smallwood et al., 2006). Finally, the consequences
of mind-wandering on encoding under laboratory conditions is predictive of the
specificity of a participant’s auto-biographical memories from outside the laboratory,
suggesting this phenomenon is stable over time and shows ecological validity
(Smallwood et al. in press).
Deeper engagement with the environment. Reading requires individuals to detect,
retain and then create a narrative of events which extend in time beyond current sensory
input. Reading differs from signal detection and word-learning because of the need for
on-line coupling between public and private information to create a narrative. Reading,
therefore, requires the deepest engagement of the three task environments covered in this
review. Mind-wandering during reading occurs about 20-40% of the time (Schooler et al.
2005), and is less frequent than in signal detection (Reichle et al. submitted). When
probe and self caught measures of mind-wandering are combined in the same condition,
individuals are often caught mind-wandering by probes before they notice it themselves,
demonstrating that individuals can lack meta-awareness of mind-wandering. Moreover,
Mind-wandering and educational performance
when combined in the same condition, probe caught measures often have a greater ability
to predict text comprehension than do self-caught measures (Schooler et al. 2005). Thus
problems in text comprehension may arise from situations when participants fail to
recognize their minds wandering. In the next section we consider the specific mechanism
by which mind-wandering interferes with reading comprehension.
Mind-wandering and model building during discourse. If mind-wandering denies
participants the opportunity to encode information in the first instance, the absence of this
basic factual information would put them at a disadvantage when creating both
propositional and ultimately situational models required for a deep understanding of text
(Graesser et al. 1994). The consequences of poor encoding could ‘cascade’ downwards
through the cognitive system; simple deficits in superficial processing could lead to more
obvious deficits at a deeper level of analysis. This cascading model of comprehension
failure is described schematically on the right hand side of Figure Two.
We have recently developed two paradigms to test whether the consequences of
mind-wandering during reading obey this cascading principle. Both paradigms employ
word-by-word text comprehension so that participants are forced to sustain their attention
on the text over time. To examine the consequences of mind-wandering on the explicit
propositional meaning contained in a sentence we examined the process of
comprehension monitoring. Comprehension monitoring (e.g. Brown and Palinscar, 1984,
1989, Palinscar, 1993) involves asking participants to actively determine whether the text
is currently making sense - a process which forces individuals to generate a deeper
understanding of the text leading to better comprehension.
Mind-wandering and educational performance
We (Schooler et al, in submission) investigated the relationship between mind-
wandering and a participants’ ability to detect periods in the text when it stopped making
sense and turned to gibberish. We used a simple second grade text to ensure that the
college level student participants would have no comprehension difficulties. Gibberish
was created by modifying sentences so that text relevant words were used in a
grammatical manner but the order was changed so as to render the sentence meaningless.
For example, instead of reading “We must make some money for the circus” participants
would read “We must make some circus for the money”. Participants were instructed to
indicate whenever they noticed it had become meaningless. The word by word
presentation ensured that detecting these semantic irregularities required the participant to
separately encode and retain each word for long enough to create and evaluate a
propositional model of each sentence.
The results indicated that participants frequently failed to immediately notice when
the text turned to gibberish (approximately 30% of the time), and, often continued
‘reading’ for a significant number of words (on average 17) before they caught it. Probe
caught mind-wandering was predictive of the likelihood of failing to detect periods when
the text turned to gibberish (Experiment One and Two). Moreover, when participants
were probed at periods when the text turned to gibberish but was not detected
(Experiment Three) more examples of mind-wandering were reported than when probed
randomly. Mind-wandering was, therefore, associated with periods in which participants
failed to build a propositional model of the text, impairing their ability to detect
violations of meaning at the level of a sentence.
Mind-wandering and educational performance
To examine whether mind-wandering impairs the formation of models over a longer
time interval we (Smallwood et al, in prep) exploited the fact that detective stories often
provide the reader with a number of specific facts which if properly encoded provide the
chance to build a model which allows the reader to predict the outcome of the story. We
asked participants to read a Sherlock Holmes story, The Red-Headed League, which
contained four inference critical events which could be used to determine the identity of
one of the villains.
In this study (Smallwood et al., in preparation) we measured mind-wandering using
two types of thought probe. The first type, random probes, occurred at random intervals
throughout the text, while the second type, inference-critical probes, occurred at
junctures in the text which revealed a fact that was critical to subsequently identifying the
villain. Participants who were mind-wandering when probed at inference-critical probes
were less able to identify the name of the villain. In contrast, random probes were not
predictive of the participants’ ability to answer the same question. The specific
relationship between participants’ responses to the inference critical probes and their
ability to name the villain suggests that even brief failures in attention can impair the
ability of individuals to create a model of discourse if they occurred at a critical juncture
in the narrative, leading to downstream failures in the formation of a situational model of
Awareness Of Mind-Wandering And Meta-Cognition
At some point during this paper you have certainly noticed that you were not giving
the text your full attention. Noticing and correcting for this mind-wandering episode was
no mean feat. To do so, you needed to do at least two things – first, you recognized the
Mind-wandering and educational performance
content of your attention, and, second you determined that this particular content was
inconsistent with the intention of reading this paper. Recognizing and correcting for
mind-wandering, therefore, requires a certain amount of meta-cognitive skill (Schooler,
2002). Similar to all psychological abilities, mind-wandering prevalence varies across
populations. In the next section of this paper, we examine two populations in which
mind-wandering is frequent and examine whether this variation results from deficits in
meta-cognitive control.
Depression and mind-wandering. Research has demonstrated a consistent
relationship between dysphoria and elevated mind-wandering in a variety of task
environments. For example, dysphoric students show elevations of mind-wandering in a
wide range of tasks including simple signal detection (Smallwood et al., 2004a),
encoding (Smallwood et al., 2003 b, in press) and word fragment completion (Smallwood
et al., 2006 b).
It is possible that the elevation in mind-wandering in dysphoria could result from
the individuals adopting poor meta-cognitive strategies for controlling their attention.
The literature suggests that this client group may have meta–cognitive problems
(Teasdale, 1999, Shephard and Teasdale, 2000) and so it is possible that high frequencies
of mind-wandering during dysphoria is a consequence of the fact that these individuals
employ counter productive strategies to control their thinking.
To shed light on whether meta-cognitive problems are responsible for elevations in
mind-wandering we see in dysphoria, we compared the frequency of mind-wandering in
undergraduate students high and low on dysphoria (Smallwood et al., in press).
Participants were asked to encode a selection of words, and, were exposed to a second list
Mind-wandering and educational performance
which they were asked not to encode. The task of encoding information requires the
individual to maintain attention on the task at hand over a prolonged period, and so places
a greater emphasis on the meta-cognitive control of attention. We reasoned that if
dysphoric thinking was associated with mind-wandering because they adopt
counterproductive meta-cognitive strategies, this would predict high frequencies of mind-
wandering in dysphoric individuals in the encoding condition.
The results confirmed that, while all individuals were more likely to mind-wander
when asked not to encode the words, the effects of dysphoria was a specific increase in
mind-wandering when instructed to encode information as the session progressed
(Smallwood et al., in press). The fact that dysphoric individuals experienced more mind-
wandering when asked to encode information suggests that it may poor meta-cognitive
control in the population which leads to the high level of mind-wandering reported in this
group, a suggestion which is consistent with the fact that treatments which replace
attempts at meta-cognitive control with a meditative focus on the here and now, have
been shown to reduce depressive relapse, and, facilitate the formation of detailed
autobiographical memories (Teasdale et al., 2000; Williams et al., 2001, Teasdale et al.
Attention deficit disorder and mind-wandering. A second population with elevated
mind-wandering is individuals’ with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (Shaw
and Giambra, 1993, ADHD). ADHD is associated with a history of poor inhibitory skills
(Barkley, 2000, Nigg, 2002). According to Barkley (1997) the deficits which underpin
ADHD result from a constellation of impairments including failure to inhibit a pre-potent
response, difficulty terminating ongoing behavior and impaired inhibition of interference.
Mind-wandering and educational performance
As a result of these problems, children and adolescents who suffer from ADHD are
impaired on everyday problem solving and perform poorly in educational settings
(Johnson, 2002).
In a study of college level students, individuals with a history of ADHD reported
high frequencies of mind-wandering relative to control participants (Shaw and Giambra,
1993). In this study, the authors differentiated between deliberate mind-wandering, i.e.
experiences that the individual was aware they were having, and non-deliberate mind-
wandering, i.e. episodes that occurred spontaneously. The results indicated that ADHD
prone college students were particularly likely to report that their mind-wandering
occurred in the absence of deliberate intent – spontaneous mind-wandering. The fact that
mind-wandering is more likely to be spontaneous in ADHD implies that the individuals
may lack the necessary meta-cognitive skills to catch off task episodes when they occur.
It is possible that this meta-cognitive deficit in the ability to recognize mind-wandering is
one of the reasons why children with ADHD gain an educational benefit from a
combination of neuro-feedback and meta-cognitive training (Thompson et al., 1998).
Research on mind-wandering is still in its infancy, and, while we can be sure that
it occurs outside the laboratory (Klinger and Cox 1987) and across cultures (Singer and
McRaven, 1962) no study has directly assessed mind-wandering in the classroom. To do
so we must develop measures that can overcome the specific requirements of research in
a classroom environment. These requirements are likely to include overcoming the
demand characteristics of working with children, and, developing on-line measures of
Mind-wandering and educational performance
mind-wandering which are less obtrusive than thought probes and, therefore, can be
applied in the classroom.
Despite the lack of direct evidence from the classroom, there are a number of
ways that research on mind-wandering could relate to education. One possibility is that
classroom practices which promote participation using either think-out loud protocols
(Flowers, 1992, Duffy et al. 1986) or comprehension monitoring (e.g. Brown and
Palinscar, 1984, 1989, Palinscar, 1993) enhance performance because they increase
engagement with the materials. These processes could lead to greater immersion and,
therefore, lower levels of mind-wandering (see left panel Figure Two). It could be
informative to examine if educational techniques which increase immersion, such as the
use of tutorials rather than lectures, are successful because they reduce the frequency of
mind-wandering and so reverse the cascading consequences of mind-wandering on
A second possibility is that meta-cognitive training could ameliorate the
consequences of mind-wandering. Techniques such as mindfulness-based cognitive
therapy (MBCT) train participants to reduce mind-wandering by changing the
relationship between the individual and their thoughts (Teasdale et al. 2002). Thus, it is
possible that with the correct targeting, techniques such as MBCT could improve
performance in education contexts.
This paper considered the implication of mind-wandering research for education.
We suggested that because mind-wandering involves a state of decoupled attention it
Mind-wandering and educational performance
prevents individuals from encoding information in the first instance. These failures in
encoding cascade downwards through the cognitive system leading to downstream
impairments on model-building required for reading. Second, we suggested that poor
meta-cognitive control in certain client groups impairs their ability to control or catch
their minds wandering, exacerbating the consequences of mind-wandering, and impairing
the educational performance of these individuals. Finally, we considered how research
on mind-wandering relates to educational performance in the classroom.
When researching mind-wandering we do not directly manipulate the critical
relationship. Instead we simply measure the extent to which attentional experience flows
from one focus to another and examine the consequences of these fluctuations. All the
studies reviewed in this paper are, therefore, observational in nature, and so we cannot
determine causality. As such, it is possible that our ability to make sense of the
environment waxes and wanes over the course of a task, and that when these lapse occur
the participants’ attention may become sensitive to internal distractions such as mind-
wandering. Alternately, internal events may spontaneously capture attention, leading
attention to become decoupled from the text and leading to the cascading deficits in
comprehension outlined in this paper. It is clear, however, that, irrespective of the
direction of causality, the frequency with which the mind wanders provides an important
marker for the frequency with which text comprehension fails.
While mind-wandering can clearly hinder educational performance, the ubiquity of
off-task episodes has led certain theorists to consider whether these experiences may have
some functional role (Singer, 1966, Klinger, 1999, Christof et al. 2004, Smallwood and
Schooler, in press). One finding in the literature is that mind-wandering decreases with
Mind-wandering and educational performance
age (Giambra, 1993). As mind-wandering requires an intact executive system
(Smallwood and Schooler, in press, Christof et al. 2004) the relative lack of mind-
wandering as age increases could simply indicate the steady decline in the brain’s ability
to generate novel behavioral strategies. In this light the relative lack of dynamism in the
subjective experience in older individuals would parallel the reduction in flexibility
which accompanies aging – impairing learning and shifting intelligence from fluid to
crystallized states.
If adolescence and early adulthood are periods associated with both a dynamic
subjective experience and spontaneous and flexible learning, then the study of mind-
wandering could provide a window into how the waking mind generates and processes
information which transcends the limitations of the current context. The processing of
memories or goals when decoupled from the task environment could be important in the
process of building bridges between different knowledge domains or elaborating upon
already learned information. Because the content of mind-wandering is often in our
immediate past or present (Klinger and Cox, 1987) these episodes could act to keep us in
touch with our hopes and desires. Similarly, the sense of spontaneity associated with
mind-wandering could readily serve prospective memory function, or even contribute to
the brief moments of insight (Schooler et al. 1994) which are essential in problem solving
(Smallwood and Schooler, in press). The possibility that mind-wandering allows us
access to contextually unbounded information, with all the advantages that these private
experiences bring, could explain why off-task experiences are both ubiquitous across
cultures and yet are associated with the negative educational consequences described in
this paper.
Mind-wandering and educational performance
Acknowledgements. The writing of this paper was supported by a grant from the Office
of Education to Jonathan Schooler and Eric Reichle. Thanks to Malia Mason, Merrill
McSpadden, Jason Chin, Joanne Elliott, Derek Heim and Todd Handy for their useful
comments on the ideas developed in this paper.
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Mind-wandering and educational performance
Figure One. Schematic account of the contrast between the attentional coupling
which accompanies successful discourse processing and the state of decoupled processing
when the mind wanders
External Information
Working Memory
Internal Representations
External Information
Working Memory
Internal Representations
(A) Coupled
Schematic of the
attentional focus
(B) De-coupled
Schematic of the
attentional focus
Mind-wandering and educational performance
Figure Two. Schematic account of how mind-wandering leads to impaired model
building by preventing the encoding of information.
Level Three
: Deepest Engagement with Task
Requires Stimulus Identification, Retention
& Model Creation
Infrequent Mind-wandering
Example: Reading
Level One
: Superficial Engagement with Task
Requires Stimulus Identification
Frequent Mind-wandering
Example: Signal detection.
Level Two
: Moderate Engagement with Task
Requires Stimulus identification & Retention
Moderate Mind-wandering
Example: List Learning
Decreasing Likelihood of Mind-wandering
Task Engagement
Failure in
Impaired Model
Cascading Consequence
of Inattention
Increasing Consequences of Mind-wandering
... Concentration is an important indicator for workers' cognitive wellbeing 1 and a critical determinant for performance [2][3][4] . It is, however, compromised when individuals are exposed to high levels of stress, which clearly was the case during the COVID-19 pandemic 11 . ...
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, many knowledge workers reported concentration problems. This can be seen as critical as concentration is an important indicator for both cognitive wellbeing and occupational success. Drawing on the load theory of selective attention, we argue that concentration problems can be caused by the strain workers experienced during the pandemic. Consequently, by associating impaired concentration with strain, we hypothesize that strengthening strain recovery is a method that potentially supports concentration in stressful times. We developed the smartphone app "swoliba" containing self-training exercises targeting recovery experiences and tested the benefit of this app with two intervention groups and one waitlist-control group. Participants of the intervention groups were asked to carry out the exercises accompanied by surveys throughout a period of 4 weeks in 2020/2021. Results show that participants in the intervention groups reported higher concentration levels and lower strain levels than those in the control group, and this beneficial effect on concentration is partially mediated via lower strain levels. We conclude that self-training apps can be an effective tool for recovery interventions reducing strain but also supporting concentration. Using two different intervention conditions, we can reliably demonstrate the beneficial effect of our swoliba training program.
... y I †‫ا‬ NHYJ ‫ا‬ ‫ة‬ ‫وا-•‬ ‫ا‬ $ † $ L C Ÿ ‫ء‬ ‫أ¹‬ ‫ر‬ ) Seli, et, al, 2018: 481 .( G ‫ة‬ ‡ ‫ا‬ ‫ا‬ 6 ‡ ‫و-‬ ‫ل‬ ‫م‬ G¢ ‫داد‬ ‫ا‬ › C‫و‬ ، 6q ‫ا‬ » ‫ا‬ Ç "$J ‫ز‬ ‫ي‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ث‬ 9S ‫؟‬ ‫ذا‬ ‫و †‬ ‫؟‬Ó¦ ‫و‬ ‫؟‬p ! C PR‫و‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ا-‬ ‫ل‬ ‫ل‬ ‫ر‬ ‫ا‬ ) Robison, et al,. 2017: 651 .( r‫ا‬ ‫ا‬ › P ‫ا‬ ‫ع‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ا‬ ‫و'‬ ‫ل‬ ‫ا †$‬ ‫أداء‬ ‫ء‬ Ê‫أ‬ NHYJ ) Smallwood et, al,. 2007 Memisevic & Sinanovic, 2014: 834 ( . ...
... This finding could be explained by the competition for the capacity-limited cognitive resources between processing the visuals of the instructor on the screen and mind wandering. Similar to effective strategies that help reduce mind wandering, including integrating quiz questions and allowing learners to take notes (Kane et al., 2017) throughout the video, adding the visuals of the instructor to the video may help sustain attention for the learners (Smallwood et al., 2007). As the attention was relocated from mind wandering to processing the instructor's visuals, the amount of mind wandering could be decreased. ...
... Além da importância do professor e das estratégias que são utilizadas no processo de ensino, há também que se considerar as habilidades individuais dos alunos de integrar informações do ambiente para as representações internas (Smallwood, Fishman & Schooler, 2007). Essas características individuais dos alunos são interpretadas pela literatura principalmente a partir de estilos de aprendizagem, que correspondem às formas individuais de se processar informações que são recebidas durante a aprendizagem (Costa, Souza, Valentim & Castro, 2020). ...
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A partir dos avanços no debate sobre o processo de ensino-aprendizagem e suas novas configurações, esta revisão bibliográfica buscou apresentar a holística das metodologias ativas no processo educacional. Inseriu-se nessa discussão as características individuais que podem sugerir diferentes preferências na aprendizagem, destacando estilos de aprendizagem. A fim de trazer um panorama geral sobre os estudos de estilos de aprendizagem, foram apresentados alguns modelos sob os quais esses estilos podem ser expressos. Além disso, foi estabelecido um vínculo entre as metodologias ativas e os estilos de aprendizagem. A partir dessa relação construída, foi realizada uma breve revisão de estudos sobre metodologias ativas e estilos de aprendizagem aplicados ao ensino contábil brasileiro. Os resultados mostraram que, embora haja complexidade nesse cenário, têm sido feitas tentativas de inclusão de metodologias ativas no ensino de ciências contábeis no cenário brasileiro. Estudos têm analisado os efeitos dos estilos de aprendizagem dos alunos e professores, assim como os métodos de ensino utilizados, e evidenciaram a importância de considerar os estilos de aprendizagem no planejamento de estratégias de ensino. A adoção de metodologias ativas mostrou-se influente no desempenho dos alunos, e estratégias como trabalho em grupo, leitura dirigida e aula expositiva foram consideradas eficazes na aprendizagem. Espera-se que esta revisão possa auxiliar no entendimento dos conceitos relacionados aos temas aqui discutidos e criar reflexões para fomentar o planejamento e possível adoção de metodologias ativas no ensino superior em ciências contábeis.
... Hence the digital training event design, including the didactical structure and methodology, plays a crucial role for the participant's attentiveness and consequently the training event's success (Mahipal, 2020). Attention is one essential basis of learning (Smallwood et al., 2007). ...
Attentional engagement is known to vary on a moment-to-moment basis. However, few self-report methods can effectively capture dynamic fluctuations in attentional engagement over time. In the current paper, we evaluated the utility of stimulated recall, a method wherein individuals are asked to remember their subjective states while using a mnemonic cue, for the measurement of temporal changes in attentional engagement. Participants were asked to watch a video lecture, during which we assessed their in-the-moment levels of attentional engagement using intermittent thought probes. Then, we used stimulated recall by cueing participants with short video clips from the lecture to retrospectively assess the levels of attentional engagement they had experienced when they first watched those clips within the lecture. Experiment 1 assessed the statistical overlap between in-the-moment and video-stimulated ratings. Experiment 2 assessed the generalizability of video-stimulated recall across different types of lectures. Experiment 3 assessed the impact of presenting video-stimulated probe clips in non-chronological order. Experiment 4 assessed the effect of video-stimulated recall on its own. Across all experiments, we found statistically robust correspondence between in-the-moment and video-stimulated ratings of attentional engagement, illustrating a strong convergence between these two methods of assessment. Taken together, our findings indicate that stimulated recall provides a new and practical methodological approach that can accurately capture dynamic fluctuations in subjective attentional states over time.
CASE Maria is an 8-year-old girl with Down syndrome, described by her mother as an affectionate and social child, who was referred to developmental-behavioral pediatrics by her pediatrician because of increasing aggressive behaviors and inattention. Maria was 5 pounds at birth, delivered full-term by cesarean section, and hospitalized for 1 month after delivery because of feeding issues that required a nasogastric (NG) tube. Maternal age was 24 years, pregnancy was uncomplicated, and there were no reported prenatal exposures to substances. Additional medical history includes corrective cardiac surgery at age 11 months, mild-to-moderate hearing loss in 1 ear, and myopia. At the time of Maria's presentation to developmental-behavioral pediatrics, she was in third grade and had an IEP with placement in a substantially separate multigrade classroom and inclusion for special classes such as music and art. She had multiple academic goals and accommodations for behaviors such as eloping from class, shoving, and growling at adults; communication Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS); and extended time to complete assignments. Previously, she had attended an inclusion setting with a 1:1 aide. Maria is followed annually at a specialty clinic that focuses on the health needs of children with Down syndrome. At home, Maria's parents speak primarily Spanish, while her 2 older brothers speak primarily English. Maria has been using 3-word phrases since she was 6 years old and understands some American Sign Language. She also uses a PECS book for communication. During the visit, Maria was notably fidgety, frequently interrupted the parent interview despite having toys to play with, and became aggressive—hitting, kicking, pushing, and shoving—when she did not want to comply with directives. She used mostly single words and a variety of gestures to communicate. Both the parent-completed and teacher-completed Conners-3 (Long Version) produced elevated T-scores (>70) in the domains of inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, defiance/aggression, peer relations, Global Index scale, DSM-5 Hyperactive/Impulsive symptom scale, and DSM-5 Conduct Disorder symptom scale. The teacher endorsed full criteria for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, consistent with combined presentation, and the parent endorsed symptoms in a similar pattern. Methylphenidate (2.5 mg) was trialed but tolerated poorly when it was titrated to 5 mg. Maria's mother reported that Maria's focus was somewhat better, but she was easily brought to tears and “not herself.” What would be the next steps in Maria's evaluation/treatment? Could there be reasons for her worsening behavior other than a primary attention disorder?
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Distraction reflects a drift of attention away from the task at hand towards task-irrelevant external or internal information (mind-wandering). The right posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are known to mediate attention to external information and mind-wandering, respectively, but it is not clear whether they support each process selectively or rather they play similar roles in supporting both. In this study, participants performed a visual search task including salient color singleton distractors before and after receiving cathodal (inhibitory) transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the right PPC, the mPFC, or sham tDCS. Thought probes assessed the intensity and contents of mind-wandering during visual search. The results show that tDCS to the right PPC but not mPFC reduced the attentional capture by the singleton distractor during visual search. tDCS to both mPFC and PPC reduced mind-wandering, but only tDCS to the mPFC specifically reduced future-oriented mind-wandering. These results suggest that the right PPC and mPFC play a different role in directing attention towards task-irrelevant information. The PPC is involved in both external and internal distraction, possibly by mediating the disengagement of attention from the current task and its reorienting to salient information, be this a percept or a mental content (mind-wandering). By contrast, the mPFC uniquely supports mind-wandering, possibly by mediating the endogenous generation of future-oriented thoughts capable to draw attention inward, away from ongoing activities.
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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is widely theorized to stem from dysfunctional inhibitory processes. However, the definition of inhibition is imprecisely distinguished across theories. To clarify the evidence for this conception, the author relies on a heuristic distinction between inhibition that is under executive control and inhibition that is under motivational control (anxiety or fear). It is argued that ADHD is unlikely to be due to a motivational inhibitory control deficit, although suggestions are made for additional studies that could overturn that conclusion. Evidence for a deficit in an executive motor inhibition process for the ADHD combined type is more compelling but is not equally strong for all forms of executive inhibitory control. Remaining issues include specificity to ADHD, whether inhibitory problems are primary or secondary in causing ADHD, role of comorbid anxiety and conduct disorder, and functional deficits in the inattentive ADHD subtype.
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Planning in writing is a strategic response to both the writing situation and the writer's own knowledge. This paper describes the process adult writers bring to ill-defined, expository tasks, such as writing essays, articles, reports and proposals. In planning, writers draw on (nest and integrate) three executive level strategies: knowledge-driven planning, script- or schema-driven planning, and constructive planning. Research in both instructional and academic writing suggests that writers may fail to turn to a constructive strategy even when ill-defined tasks demand it. This paper presents a theory of constructive planning based on a detailed analysis of expert and novice writers. It isolates five critical features of this constructive strategy, in which writers must create a unique network of working goals and deal with the special problems of integration, conflict resolution and instantiation this constructive process entails. The paper describes the strategies writers use to meet these demands and some expert/novice differences that affect the integration of the entire plan. This theoretical framework also suggests some goals for instruction and the support of planning.
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This paper sets forth a way of interpreting mathematics classrooms that aims to account for how students develop mathematical beliefs and values and, consequently, how they become intellectually autonomous in mathematics. To do so, we advance the notion of sociomathematical norms, that is, normative aspects of mathematical discussions that are specific to students' mathematical activity. The explication of sociomathematical norms extends our previous work on general classroom social norms that sustain inquiry-based discussion and argumentation. Episodes from a second-grade classroom where mathematics instruction generally followed an inquiry tradition are used to clarify the processes by which sociomathematical norms are interactively constituted and to illustrate how these norms regulate mathematical argumentation and influence learning opportunities for both the students and the teacher. In doing so, we both clarify how students develop a mathematical disposition and account for students' development of increasing intellectual autonomy in mathematics. In the process, the teacher's role as a representative of the mathematical community is elaborated.
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Examined were the relationships between task‐unrelated thoughts (TUTs), self‐reported sensation seeking, retrospective self‐reported personality characteristics, laterality, eye dominance, and allergies in college students who were diagnosed in childhood as attention deficit/hyperactive disordered (ADHD) and in four control groups (high‐ and low‐activity males and females). Both spontaneous and deliberate TUTs were reported during a vigilance task. Left‐eye dominance was related to increased childhood hyperactive behaviors and to spontaneous TUTs. Of the five groups, subjects diagnosed as ADHD had more spontaneous TUTs and false alarms, whereas those subjects reporting high‐activity characteristics as children gave more deliberate TUTs and fewer false alarms, and low‐activity subjects responded with the fewest TUTs and false alarms. These results are consistent with the interpretation that in a boring task ADHD children have higher levels of nonconscious processing and poor inhibitory control and that these factors produce greater frequencies of spontaneous intrusive thoughts.
Previous research has established that good readers, in contrast to poor readers, are aware of how to use reading comprehension strategies, and that an adjunct curriculum in how to use such strategies can result in achievement gains. However, it is not known whether teachers can, as a part of the regular instructional program for students in low reading groups, develop awareness of how to be strategic and, as a result, improve learning outcomes. The experimental intervention study reported here trained classroom teachers to be explicit when teaching low reading groups to use reading skills strategically. Twenty-two teachers participated in the study. It was hypothesized that explicit teacher explanation of how reading skills can be used as strategies would result in increased student awareness of what was taught, which in turn would lead to increased reading achievement on standardized measures. Results suggested that the treatment teachers learned to be more explicit in teaching reading skills, and that this explicitness resulted in significantly greater student awareness of what was taught. However, no significant achievement gains were found. Due to its methodological complexity, the study has implications for future research in naturalistic settings. /// [French] Les recherches antérieures ont démontrées que les bons lecteurs, comparativement aux lecteurs plus faibles, sont conscients de l'emploi de stratégies de compréhension en lecture, et qu'un ajout au programme concernant la façon d'utiliser ces stratégies peut permettre un meilleur rendement. Toutefois, on ignore si les professeurs peuvent développer dans les groupes faibles en lecture, comme élément du programme régulier, la conscience de l'utilisation de stratégies, ce qui aurait pour effet d'améliorer leur apprentissage. Le cas d'intervention expérimentale rapporté ici préparait les professeurs à enseigner explicitement aux groupes faibles l'utilisation stratégique des habiletés de lecture. Vingt-deux professeurs ont participé. On a émis l'hypothèse qu'un enseignement explicite de l'emploi stratégique des habilités permettrait une meilleure compréhension de ce qui était enseigné, améliorant ainsi le rendement dans les tests de lecture standardisés. Les résultats suggèrent que les professeurs bénéficiaires de cette préparation ont appris à enseigner la lecture plus explicitement, développant ainsi chez l'élève une meilleure conscience de ce qui était enseigné. Cependant, on n'a trouvé aucune amélioration significative au niveau du rendement. /// [Spanish] La investigación previa ha establecido que los buenos lectores, en contraste con los malos, están conscientes de cómo usar estrategias para comprender lectura, y que un curriculum adjunto de como usar estas estrategias puede resultar en avances en el aprovechamiento. Sin embargo, no se sabe si los maestros pueden desarrollar esta conciencia de como ser estratégicos y por ende, mejorar los resultados de aprendizaje, implementando esto como parte del programa regular de instrucción para estudiantes de grupos de nivel bajo de lectura. El estudio de la intervención experimental reportado aquí entrenó maestros de escuela a ser explícitos mientras enseñaban a grupos de rendimiento bajo en la lectura a que usaran habilidades de lectura de manera estratégica. En este estudio participaron 22 maestros. Se planteó la hipótesis de que la explicación por parte del maestro de como las habilidades de lectura pueden ser usadas como estrategias resultaría en un aumento en la conciencia del estudiante de lo que se estaba enseñando; que a su vez, resultaría en un aumento en el logro de lectura en medidas estandarizadas. Los resultados sugieren que los maestros del tratamiento aprendieron a ser más explicitos al enseñar habilidades de lectura, y que el ser explícitos resultó en una conciencia de lo enseñado por parte del estudiante significativamente mayor. Sin embargo, no se encontraron logros significativos en el aprovechamiento. /// [German] Fruehere forschungen haben ergeben, daß gute Leseschüler im Gegensatz zu schlechten im Umgang mit Leseverständnisübungsstrategien vertraut sind, und daß ein angeschlossener Lehrplan, der den Gebrauch solcher Strategien vermittelt, eine Leistungsverbesserung bewirken kann. Es ist jedoch nicht bekannt, ob Lehrer im Rahmen des regulären Unterrichts für schlechte Leseschüler ein Verständnis für strategisches Vorgehen entwickeln können und daraus resultierend verbesserte Lernerfolge erzielen können. Die Studie der Versuchsanwendung, von der hier berichtet wird, schulte Lehrer in explizitem Unterricht strategischen Lesens in niedrigen Lesestufen. An dem Versuch nahmen 22 Lehrer teil. Es wurde die Hypothese aufgestellt, daß explizite Erklärung des Lehrers, wie Lesekenntnisse als Strategie eingesetzt werden können, bei den Schülern zu einem besseren Verständnis des unterrichteten Stoffes führte, was in standardisierten Messungen wiederum höhere Leseleistung bewirkt. Die Ergebnisse lassen darauf schließen, daß die Lehrer, die die Methode anwandten, gelernt haben, expliziter vorzugehen in der Vermittlung von Lesekenntnissen und daß diese Explizitheit bei den Schülern zu einem bedeutend größeren Verständnis dessen, was gelehrt wurde, geführt hat. Es ist jedoch kein signifikanter Leistungszuwachs festgestellt worden.
• The aim of this book is to make the study of teaching scientific and practical--scientific in the sense of dealing with verifiable facts rather than attractive opinions, practical in the sense of giving knowledge and power that will make a difference in the actual work of teaching. It follows the example of the better books on education in basing principles of teaching upon the laws of psychology; it makes use of modern scientific psychology and especially of recent investigations in genetic and dynamic psychology; it seeks to make use also of the direct studies of teaching itself which have been made by qualified experts; it is arranged as a manual to guide the student in applying principles himself rather than as a series of discussions to be thought out or, more often, to be simply absorbed. Scientific principles are the back-bone of knowledge of teaching but concrete exercises are its flesh and blood. For the work of the student of teaching is to get practical control of principles by using them. The author offers no excuse for using over a third of his pages for such exercises; indeed, they should occupy more than two-thirds of the student's time. They aim in some cases to test and increase the student's knowledge of principles; in others to insure the habit and power of application of general principles to the particular problems of the school-room; in others to give training in judging the theories, methods and devices which each year's output of educational literature brings to a teacher's attention. In all cases they aim to make thought about teaching more logical and scientific. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) • The aim of this book is to make the study of teaching scientific and practical--scientific in the sense of dealing with verifiable facts rather than attractive opinions, practical in the sense of giving knowledge and power that will make a difference in the actual work of teaching. It follows the example of the better books on education in basing principles of teaching upon the laws of psychology; it makes use of modern scientific psychology and especially of recent investigations in genetic and dynamic psychology; it seeks to make use also of the direct studies of teaching itself which have been made by qualified experts; it is arranged as a manual to guide the student in applying principles himself rather than as a series of discussions to be thought out or, more often, to be simply absorbed. Scientific principles are the back-bone of knowledge of teaching but concrete exercises are its flesh and blood. For the work of the student of teaching is to get practical control of principles by using them. The author offers no excuse for using over a third of his pages for such exercises; indeed, they should occupy more than two-thirds of the student's time. They aim in some cases to test and increase the student's knowledge of principles; in others to insure the habit and power of application of general principles to the particular problems of the school-room; in others to give training in judging the theories, methods and devices which each year's output of educational literature brings to a teacher's attention. In all cases they aim to make thought about teaching more logical and scientific. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)