#1 Distractions and Drives That Distract From Study Time and Affect Work Ethic.

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)

Keeping organized

  • Time management
  • Study environment organization
  • Planners, notebooks, lists, points to focus on


Basic needs

  • 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!

1. https://www.scientificamerican...ns-background-noise/

2. http://www.learningscientists.org/blog/2016/11/10-1

3. http://www.mindthesciencegap.o...usic-help-you-study/

4. https://www.oxfordlearning.com...ing-distracted-tips/


Original Post

Hi Rachel!

I found your research very interesting because after reading your post, I realized that I, myself, work much better in areas where there is light background noise (such as the library or a coffee shop), but can not concentrate at all on my work in situations where someone is talking loudly, clicking their pen or anything in that sense. It may be interesting to find a link between ADHD and your topic for future posts.

Here are some sources that may help with your upcoming research:



Hope this helps! 

Hey Rachel! 

I think that this is a really awesome research topic, and one that hits home for a lot of us students. I can honestly say that I get distracted very easily, and that that distraction is more often than not caused my phone. I think it's really interesting how you connect distraction from our phones to the human inclination to socialize, as the modern human needs, along with food and water and shelter, a sense of community. I also think it's really interesting how you discuss the effect of sound on concentration and studying ability; some of the facts that you brought to light were things that I never knew, and things that I will certainly apply to my own life. 

Here are some links which may be helpful to your research: 




Good luck!  

Hey Rachel!

I found your research so interesting, hearing about how background noises can change your ability to take in information was super intriguing. After reading this I realized how certain noises help me work and others do the opposite such as calm slow  music compared to people talking around me. I am very excited to read more of your research.


Hi Rachel, 

Great topic, one that I truly connect with! Even when I am simply doing butterfly effect, I have to be in a quiet place to focus on my inquiries and my replies. If I have music in the background, I can't focus on what I read and I have to re-read until I turn the music off, and then I can truly understand whatever I am reading. So, the fact that you are talking about this and explaining why it is happening, makes this topic so intriguing because so many people can relate to it. Here are some links for your next round of research:




Good luck!

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