Attention: Distraction, Daydreaming and Diversity

Module code: C8895
Level 6
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Workshop
Assessment modes: Coursework, Essay

The extent to which we are able to control and focus attention can profoundly impact our daily lives, from our academic performance to our personal safety during driving. Why do some people appear to find it easier to avoid distraction than others? Why do some people find their attention powerfully drawn to particular things?

To address these issues, this module first draws on current theories of attention to consider which mechanisms might influence individual differences in attention. We will then apply this theoretical framework to explore the evidence in relation to a range of individual differences factors that have been associated with attention, including affective traits, addiction, cultural differences and neurodiversity. The module also has a strong focus on strengthening research skills such as the critical analysis of research studies in the field.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate ability to identify and explain a wide range of factors underlying individual differences in attention
  • Demonstrate ability to critically evaluate the design and methodology of research studies in this field
  • Apply the above knowledge and skills to identifying specific directions for future research in this field