Rosen: Enhancing Focus in the Age of FB, Texting, and other Culprits that Promote "Continuous Partial Attention"


Pew Internet and American Life Project 2012

How much do professionals multi-task?

   * Gonzalez and Mark et al

How do students do at staying on task while studying? Are they distracted? And, what role does technology play in their focus and attention (observational study by Rosen)


Two types of distractions

   * external (beeps, rings, vibrations, sounds, etc.)

   * internal (thoughts about what another person is doing, what is being said, etc.)

What are the concerns for our students and children?

   * Online and electronic media consumption could contribute to a lack of social skills (Small 2010)

   * Being online contributes to shallow thinking (Carr 2010)

   * Electronic media consumption can alter brain development of stage-sensitive pathways (Healy 1998)

Mechanisms for Distraction

Why do they do it?

Is it really multitasking?

Costs of Multitasking

   * Attention difficulties

   * poor decision making

   * breadth vs. depth of material

   * information overload

   * internet addiction

   * poor sleep habits

   * overuse of caffeine


   * Virtual empathy

Laura Bowman study

Stanford Study (Ophir, Nass, & Wagner)

Wang et al (2012 Ohio State)

Ellis, Daniels and Jauregui (2010)

Barak (2012)