Young kids avoid one learning trap that often snares adults: Children generally cant focus attention, which can sometimes be helpful

Young kids avoid one learning trap that often snares adults: Children generally cant focus attention, which can sometimes be helpful

2022-10-14

Children have a secret power that helps them avoid a “learning trap” that adults may sometimes fall into: Kids just can’t focus their attention.

A new study used eye-tracking technology to show that kids’ attention wandered all over a computer screen while they were trying to complete a task — even when adults quickly figured out they could do the task more efficiently by focusing on particular objects.

But that tendency to have a wandering eye helped 4- and 5-year-olds when the task unexpectedly changed — and they noticed important things on the screen that adults were not paying attention to.

“The ability of adults to focus their attention is usually very helpful in everyday life,” said Vladimir Sloutsky, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at The Ohio State University.

“But sometimes it helps to see the world more as a kid and to notice things that may not seem that important or relevant at the time.”

Sloutsky conducted the research with Nathaniel Blanco, a postdoctoral researcher, and Brandon Turner, professor, both in psychology at Ohio State. The study was published online recently in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

Source: Read Full Article