ERIC Number: ED218599
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
An Analysis of Children's Avoidance of Distraction within a Framework of Attention Processes. Technical Report No. 256.
Humphrey, Mary M.; Kleiman, Glenn M.
A conceptual framework of attention can be organized around three functions of attention: determining how much capacity is to be deployed (attention allocation), for how long (attention maintenance), and to which potential information sources (attention direction). Within this framework, several critical distinctions can be made between processes that have previously been treated as unitary. For example, attention maintenance can be distinguished from attention allocation since attention maintenance is not a passive continuation of an initial allocation of attention to task, but rather it is an active sustained processing that keeps capacity deployed. Additional distinctions can be made between sustained processing and avoidance of distraction and within the area of distraction. This leads to the concept of age-appropriate distractibility, which encompasses a description of avoidance of distraction performance in terms of interaction between task variables, such as type of distractor, and child characteristics, such as developmental level. A review of the literature on children's attention within this framework can identify several areas where needed information is not available. In particular, little is known about children's task analysis and monitoring abilities in all areas of attention capacity development. The investigation of component processes of attention in special children should enable the diagnosis of attention problems by functional categories, such as sustained processing or avoidance of distraction deficits, rather than the current, less analytic diagnostic categories, such as hyperactivity and learning disability. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.; National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.