Gender Predicts Beliefs and Knowledge about Attention among College Students

Caitlyn I. Seymour, Esmé D. Erdynast, Michelle D. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Misconceptions and insufficient knowledge related to attention and multitasking can negatively influence academic performance. As part of an educational intervention titled Attention Matters! designed to address these issues, 298 college students completed an online module that included the Counterproductive Beliefs Survey (CBS) both before and after module completion. The CBS assessed self-perceptions of multitasking ability and agreement with common fallacies involving memory and attention. Analysis of survey results revealed a significant gender difference, with males having higher CBS scores, corresponding to higher levels of self-perceived multitasking ability and with higher agreement with misconceptions about memory and attention. This gender difference was especially evident in the survey items relating to memory. Correcting counterproductive beliefs may help strengthen study habits and the ability to manage distraction during learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-217
Number of pages8
JournalCollege Teaching
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Attention
  • college learning
  • gender differences
  • memory
  • multitasking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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