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Psychology Roundup

April 5, 2013

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



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.