Why aren’t we stimulated by deep attention?

When discussing the reasons why individuals are able to maintain motivation to play video games Hayles states, “Stimulation works best… when it is associated with feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness”.

Assuming this claim to be true, why is the current generation less likely to associated these feelings to deep reading? Additionally, does the incorporation of analysis and discussion increase the level of stimulation involved in deep attention?

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2 Responses to Why aren’t we stimulated by deep attention?

  1. dgdz says:

    I feel like we came to a consensus on the first question in class yesterday, but I’ll reiterate it anyhow, in case these are just my feelings and I misinterpreted everyone else’s responses. Why don’t students feel a sense of autonomy, competence and relatedness while deep reading? Because they aren’t taught to. Reading isn’t taught as a pleasurable activity, nor as an empowering one. It’s taught, at best, as a necessary mode of transmission for information. Worst case, reading isn’t taught for any purpose greater than because “I said so and don’t ask more smart-ass questions.”

    Now might be a good time to mention that videogames are a heavily mediated format. They come with instruction manuals, in-game tutorials, etc. The player might feel as if they’re mastering the game on their own, but that isn’t at all true. Perhaps that idea could be incorporated into deep reading instruction. Instead of treating sparknotes as a means of cheating, students can be advised to refer to it as something of an instruction manual on the book. Students deserve to be guided through a text in a way that lets them know how and why the material is relevant to them. Obviously sparknotes offers an easy way of avoiding the whole pesky reading-the-book-thing, but I think that if teachers were reacted with greater understanding towards supplemental aids, students might be able to feel empowered, to make their own connections to the text, using these tutorials and instruction manuals.

    And to answer the second question, briefly, no, I don’t feel that analysis and discussion are correlated to deep attention. Analysis can (and perhaps should) be applied to hyperattention. Analysis and debate can perhaps immerse the reader in the issue of the text, but deep attention, at least in regards to reading, must be limited to reading. Discussion is a different activity altogether, as far as I’m concerned. Maybe I’m wrong and just hyper-caffeinated (hyper-attentioned!!!!!!) right now.

    Anyways, happy Thanksgiving to everyone reading this.

    -D

  2. rad75 says:

    I do agree that children (maybe in middle school) are more likely to think that they have to read because they are in school. When they are forced to read as an assignment, they lose potential interest. Most likely when something catches their attention; they will be driven to seek more information. This then led me to think that maybe the “clicks” or group of friends that children have when they are all in the same class. There may be a possibility that the reason why they are not in the deep reading is because their friends aren’t and they don’t want to be the odd one out. However, what about the younger children who cannot read? You see youngsters trying to read story books all on their own. What sparks their interest? Maybe all books should contain fun, bright pictures to grab everyone’s attention.

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