Unconscious Priming of Focused Attention Reduces the Attention Deficits of ADHD Patients

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We have shown before that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children suffer from
deficits of sustained attention, while divided, selective and distributed attention is largely spared.
The present study explores whether these deficits can be ameliorated by unconscious priming of
attention. Sixty children diagnosed with ADHD participated, their age ranged between eight and
twelve years. Participants were primed with the scrambled sentence task: under the pretext of a
language comprehension task, they were exposed to words referring to focused attention (group
“focused”) or scattered attention (group “scattered”), or were not exposed to attention-related
words (group “control”). All three groups were then assessed with the same battery of attention
tests used in our earlier study. We found that compared to the “control” group, performance was
higher in the “focused” group on tests of sustained, divided and distributed attention, and was
lower in the “scattered” group on all four tests. From this we conclude that unconscious priming
can modify the attention of ADHD children, and that this modification extends to the one attention
component that is most affected by ADHD. Unconscious priming might therefore be an expedient
supplementary method for ADHD treatment, as it can be administered at virtually no cost anytime,
anywhere.
OriginalspracheDeutsch
ZeitschriftPsychology
Jahrgang7
Heft6
Seiten (von - bis)815-819
Seitenumfang5
ISSN2152-7180
DOIs
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 06.2016

ID: 3005052

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