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Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 183–188 | Cite as

Sit Still and Pay Attention?

  • Shelley Carson
  • Margaret Shih
  • Ellen Langer
Article

Abstract

Sitting still while trying to pay attention implicitly reinforces the idea that to pay attention one should focus on a single aspect of the stimulus. Movement encourages attending to different aspects of the stimulus and as such is hypothesized to increase attention. We tested this with students from a traditional and a nontraditional school. Students were asked to observe and recall landmarks on a map. Students from the traditional school who viewed the map from multiple perspectives remembered more landmarks and locations than students who viewed the map from a single perspective. Students from a nontraditional school who are accustomed to movement while learning, did not show this effect. The experiment is discussed in terms of mindfulness theory.

attention mindfulness multiple perspectives attention deficit disorder 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shelley Carson
    • 1
  • Margaret Shih
    • 1
  • Ellen Langer
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard UniversityCambridge

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