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    Adolescents and older adults lack attention in social situations



    Summary: New research has found that adolescents and older adults pay less attention to social indications than young adults.

    Source: NeuroscienceNews and ScienceDaily.

    The research published by Nature Human Behaviour shows that social attention undergoes age-related change, which has possible suggestions for how successfully we can explain and understand social interactions in daily life and throughout the lifespan.

    Interpreting the facial expression, tone of voice and gestures of others is an important element of social interaction that allows us to make a quick understanding about others’ mental states, such as their intentions, emotions, desires and beliefs. Good social interaction develops perspective-taking and empathy along with other necessary social skills, and plays an important role in improving our wellbeing.

    The research by University of Kent’s School of Psychology, is the first of its kind to study how social attention is placed during adolescence and whether it differs from adulthood.

    The researchers examined adolescents, young adults and older adults under two sets of real world social interaction situations, a face to face conversation and a navigating environment using a mobile tracking glass to monitor their attention to social and non-social information.

    During adolescence, 10-19-year-olds are still learning and developing peer relationships, so they are experiencing a quick change in their social experiences and choices. For older adults, a considerable decline in social participation can lead to isolation, loneliness and poor health. Therefore, both groups can be significantly impacted by a lack of social engagement.

    Published: Washington State University

    Contact: Scott Weybright-Washington State University

    Details: The image is in public domain


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