What is it about?

Pairs of students watched a video lecture in a small, simulated classroom. One student was an undergraduate research participant. The other student was a research confederate who behaved either attentively or inattentively during the lecture. Students who watched the lecture with an attentive confederate paid more attention to the lecture, took more notes, and performed better on a subsequent post-lecture quiz. In a subsequent experiment, confederates sat behind participants and were not readily visible. Their behaviour (attentive vs. inattentive) spread more weakly to participants.

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Why is it important?

Students and instructors (especially those who use seating plans) should be aware that (in)attentiveness can spread between students. Teaching assistants could be positioned at highly visible spots in a classroom to facilitate the spread of attentiveness.

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This page is a summary of: Attention spreads between students in a learning environment., Journal of Experimental Psychology Applied, June 2021, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/xap0000341.
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