Unfortunately I am not a specialist in Cognitive Science I am just a regular CS student who has big interest in cognitive science.
I want to share with you some interesting observation I am sure all of us familiar with it, however I wonder whether there are some researches about this observation.
As a student I have to do some kind of activities all the time it can be reading papers, solving exercises, talking with classmates, thinking about problem in research. The problem is I find all these activities very different in terms of engagement.
Let us consider solving exercises. This is an activity with a high level of engagement. When you do this you are very concentrated, I noticed that all my mental force are concentrated on this activity. I don't pay attention what happens around. I do hear and see people. However I don't pay attention to them, and I cannot control this state it happens unintentionally/ I wish I could go in this flow when I want, but I cannot. However I know what to do in order to get into this flow, just calm sit down get some exercises and try to solve it.
On the other hand reading papers has less engagement. I usually I set a goal to every day to read a paper (among all other tasks I plan to do every day) even when I don't need to read (of course there are days when I have to spend all day reading papers). The problem is when reading papers I need really quiet place, I get easily annoyed by talking people around me, the best place I found so far is library, but what really makes me crazy is not only people can shatter your peace but my mind doesn't want to concentrate on reading. I very often found myself daydreaming about something when reading paper in this case I have to reread few last paragraphs, just because my mind didn't get them.
(Some thought about academical writings)I thought, what the reason of this problem, maybe we can start to write papers in different way, let say papers without obvious conclusion and result such that to cause you to think about it to derive the conclusion by yourself, maybe the best way to write two version of papers one is open ended and the second with results.
So far, I use the following technique to be concentrated when reading papers, before reading try do something with high engagement, solving exercise, programming a while and them start reading the paper.
- What are effective strategies for increasing concentration and motivation when doing seemingly passive activities such as reading journal articles?