Monday, February 21, 2011

Vantagens da distracção?

Bother Me, I'm Thinking, no Wall Street Journal (via Marginal Revolution):

In fact, the ability to pay attention is considered such an essential life skill that the lack of it has become a widespread medical problem. Nearly 10% of American children are now diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

In recent years, however, scientists have begun to outline the surprising benefits of not paying attention. Sometimes, too much focus can backfire; all that caffeine gets in the way. For instance, researchers have found a surprising link between daydreaming and creativity—people who daydream more are also better at generating new ideas. Other studies have found that employees are more productive when they're allowed to engage in "Internet leisure browsing" and that people unable to concentrate due to severe brain damage actually score above average on various problem-solving tasks.

A new study led by researchers at the University of Memphis and the University of Michigan extends this theme. The scientists measured the success of 60 undergraduates in various fields, from the visual arts to science. They asked the students if they'd ever won a prize at a juried art show or been honored at a science fair. In every domain, students who had been diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder achieved more: Their inability to focus turned out to be a creative advantage.
[Um comentário lateral - não sei se o facto da condição designada "Perturbação do Déficit de Atenção/Hiperactividade" ser, na linguagem comum, simplesmente chamada "hiperactividade" - apesar de grande parte das pessoas com PDAH não serem hiperactivas, algumas muito pelo contrário - não levará a grandes equivocos sobre a sua natureza]

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