The Benefits of Being Distracted

29. November 2016

Date: 29-11-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Older people’s lack of focus is associated with greater creativity in problem solving, studies show

Most people are more easily distracted as they get older. There might be a benefit to that.

Research is finding that greater distractibility and a reduced ability to focus—what scientists call decreased cognitive control—is often associated with greater creativity in problem solving. It also can facilitate learning new information, according to a review of more than 100 studies that was published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences earlier this month.

There are things that people learn faster and remember better when they are not exercising careful control over what they’re doing,” says Lynn Hasher, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto and senior author of the study. “Younger adults are focused on their goal and they’re missing all this other information. Read the rest of this entry »