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Psychology Roundup

April 5, 2013

A new study suggests that mindfulness training can help people stay focused on tasks.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

New techniques for staying focused. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

You’re trying to focus on work or a test, but you keep thinking about an argument you had yesterday, or about your plans for next Saturday. This sort of mind wandering can be reduced by a practice called mindfulness training, according to a study in the journal Psychological Science. Researchers at UC Santa Barbara found that students who took a mindfulness training course reduced mind wandering and out-performed their peers in standardized tests. The scientists say the practice improves working memory, reading comprehension and focus.

In other news, in a study of 600 corporate executives, researchers at McMaster University found that women executives out-performed men in many areas of business decisions: they were less rigid and rule-bound in their thinking, and were more likely to use cooperation and consensus-building strategies. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.