People have many drives within them, with the main purpose of survival. Things like food, water, and shelter motivate us to have goals. However, in a world where so much of our emotional wellbeing is essential to survival; self esteem, feeling of belonging, self-actualization, self-care, and relationship/career success, it is one of the main focus of many regular everyday people as well as psychological scientists/researchers.
In the modern city, technology is integrated into nearly every aspect of our lives, without it, many feel lost or as if they are missing something. We can now use it to control our homes through our mobile phones, to keep in touch with people either on the other side of the world as well as those who may be right next to us, and to broadcast our social events/daily experiences. Although not everyone does this, many of with phones do. Phones are excellent distractions because they serve us with reassurance and keep our short-term attention constantly changing stimuli.
Even without the drive to keep up with things online, when we work on things we believe are interesting, I’m sure that most of us have experienced when we think we are “studying” something intently only to realize we haven’t retained any information. This could be due to the subconcious effect we know as “mind wandering” or “daydream”
I have found articles online that claim that background music can damage our neural nerves due to over stimulation and released “synaptic shocks” without having a real purpose. They are saying that when we work, back ground noise is still processed by auditory systems that then have to filter it out in order for us to focus on what we really need to. (1) But on the other hand there is also research that says that keeping ur auditory centres busy can be really helpful and explain why how sometimes, students do better with music.
Apparently, it all depends on the task given, if the work requires auditory/spatial attention and memory of two or more things:
Types of brain power that may work better without back ground distraction:
- complex theories of math
- theories that require more than one path of thinking at a time
(for example, keeping in mind of the first row of multiplication as you are doing the second in your head which requires two paths of memory to solve) (2)
Research shows that simpler tasks like organizing or reviewing that rely more on knowing whether than memorization seem to work well when there is background music. This is because songs that we expect patterns out of make the “pattern searching” part of the brain content with what it has without wandering. Otherwise it may be searching for something to distract with. (2)
Of course it also depends on one personal preferences and habits for background noise vs music.
The majority of people can not focus with loud, scattered, and random noises which is understandable but how about music that is calming? We know that music directly effects emotions, mood, and heart rate so would it not be right to say that it can also help with focus which ties in directly with emotions and mental/physical state. (3)
Next week I will look at basic techniques that may help and also how to build on them to individualize them: (4)
- Time management
- Study environment organization
- Planners, notebooks, lists, points to focus on
- Making sure you are not hungry or thirsty
- Keeping warm temperature constant to minimize distractions
Routine and Taking Breaks
- keeping a constant schedule
- incorporate breaks into studying time that works for you
Any suggestions for my research plan for next week are welcome!