Scientists have told what is the use of absent-mindedness

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(ORDO NEWS) — What use can there be from inattention, or rather, the inability to concentrate attention? Only harm, as it leads to various unpleasant situations.

For example, in childhood, inattention interferes with learning. However, according to scientists from Ohio State University, not everything is so simple. In some situations, distraction helps children solve some problems faster than adults.

Thanks to her, they manage to avoid the so-called “knowledge trap”, or “learning trap”, which adults usually fall into.

They came to this conclusion for a reason, but on the basis of a study in which 30 children aged 4-5 years and almost 40 adults took part. The results of this experiment will surprise you.

According to Vladimir Slutsky, one of the authors of the study, a professor of psychology at Ohio State University, the ability to concentrate in adults helps a lot in everyday life.

However, as a study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology has shown, it is sometimes helpful to look at the world through the eyes of children.

This allows you to notice nuances that at first glance may seem unimportant or irrelevant, but in fact they are important.

During the experiment, children and adults were shown various fictional creatures. It was said that all beings belong to two kinds. The task was that children and adults had to determine which species this or that creature belongs to.

How could this be done? The creatures had seven features by which they could be identified. For example, one type of creature could have an orange tail, while another could have a blue tail.

In addition, the participants in the experiment were told that most members of the same species have certain characteristics, such as pink antennae, but not all.

At the same time, one of the features of all types of creatures was common, and the participants in the experiment were not informed about it. The scientists called it an “irrelevant feature.”

The experiment was divided into two stages. At the first stage, adults faster than children determined which creature belongs to which species.

As shown by the airtracker, a device that monitors the position of the eyes, adults have always focused their attention on the sign that distinguished one kind of creature from another.

That is, rely on their knowledge. In children, the gaze wandered around the picture, despite the fact that the task did not require it.

Therefore, they were slower to learn which species this or that creature belongs to. One of the recent studies showed that sport helps to improve the cognitive functions of the brain and prolong its youth.

The first stage of the experiment showed that children are generally more distracted than adults. This, of course, made it difficult to solve problems where success depended solely on training.

In the second part of the experiment, the authors of the work made a change to the task, which was not reported by the participants.

An irrelevant trait, which was previously the same, began to determine which species a creature belongs to. That is, in different species, this feature has become different.

Adults did not pay attention to the importance of an irrelevant feature, but relied on the knowledge gained during the training.

They continued to peer at the sign that had lost its relevance. The children initially paid attention to all the details, and immediately noticed that the rules had changed.

This helped them better navigate the situation and, by indirect signs, determine which of the creatures belongs to which species.

“Adults suffered from learned inattention. They did not pay attention to features that were not important in the first part of the experiment, so they missed the moment when these features became important”.

According to scientists, this feature of children is important in understanding the world at the stage of development.

The brains of four or five year olds are not sufficiently developed to enable them to pay attention. This allows you to pay attention to various details that adults may not pay attention to.

I must say that adults can also distribute their attention “more widely”. However, they themselves choose selective attention, since most often it allows them to achieve the greatest efficiency in solving certain problems.

It is this feature, according to scientists, that can sometimes lead to a “knowledge trap”. That is, knowledge in certain situations can interfere. Perhaps that is why amateurs sometimes achieve more success in certain areas than specialists.


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