FA16-Project22: Week 8

Attention Getter


The object of the game Attention Getter is to see if students can recall certain items that were shown to them in two separate scenarios.

This experiment was done on my two daughters, ages 14 and 11. There were 10 household items picked that were easily identifiable to both children. In the first setting, the children were placed in a dining room without any distractions. Each child was given a pen and paper. The children were told that they were going to look at some items placed on the dining room table and they would have to write down how many items there were on the table, as well as what the item names were. Both children were given 15 seconds look the items. They were asked to turn around and write down how many items they saw and the names of each item they can recall. In the second setting, the children left the room. The same 10 items were placed back on the dining room table, but in different order. The children were given another pen and paper. In this setting, the tv was placed on with a television show that they know best, considerably loud to the ears. They were given the same instructions as the first setting. Only difference is they were only given 10 seconds to look at the items, with the television playing at a loud sound in the back ground. The children were asked to turn around and write down again how many items were on the table, and write down how many items they can name. The information was measured for inaccuracy with the items numbered and named.


For the first experiment with the tv off, the 14 year old got 7 items correct and named them all correctly, but said there were only 9 items on the table. The 11 year old got 8 items correct and named 10 on the table. For the 2nd experiment, the 14 year old only got 5 items on the table correct and stated there were only 8 items there. The 11 year old got 6 items correct from the table and said there were 8 items in total. Chart below shows findings. It is safe to say that the attention span grew within the second setting than the first as it was harder for the children to identify and count how many items were on the table.



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About Robert O. Duncan

I'm an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences at City University of New York, with joint appointments in Neuroscience and Cognitive Neuroscience. I also have an appointment as a Visiting Scholar at New York University. My research interests include cognitive neuroscience, functional magnetic resonance imaging, glaucoma, neurodegenerative disorders, attention, learning, memory, educational technology, pedagogy, and developing games for education.

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