NSF REAL funding to Kane to study effects of mind-wandering

Posted on October 24, 2013

Repost from Campus Weekly

Dr. Michael Kane (Psychology), along with A. Miyake (UC Boulder), was awarded a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation’s REAL program, for the project “Collaborative Research: The Effects of Mind-Wandering on the Learning and Retention of STEM Content: Experimental and Individual-Differences Investigation.” The project reflects a series of experimental, individual-differences, and classroom observational studies that seek to understand and reduce students’ failures to attend to, and learn from, college classroom lectures in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Using multiple levels of analysis, the research will examine: (a) how mind-wandering affects learning and retention of STEM concepts and techniques; (b) how typical classroom behaviors may influence student mind-wandering during lectures, thereby affecting learning and retention; (c) whether interventions designed to decrease mind-wandering ultimately improve learning and retention; and (d) how individual differences in both cognitive and non-cognitive variables influence who is affected most (either positively or negatively) from typical classroom behaviors and/or designed interventions in regulating attentional focus and thereby successful STEM learning.

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