Accommodation Solutions Online

Attentional Overfocus (3B)

Attentional overfocus or hyperfocus refers to the state of rapt attention where a student becomes so absorbed in a task that other relevant stimuli fade away.
Attentional overfocus affects a student's ability to shift from one task to another. A student who demonstrates attentional overfocus will tend to "get stuck" in a task. This persistence can be helpful in getting tasks accomplished but can lead to lost productivity and difficulty meeting deadlines. Students with the tendency to overfocus may get caught up in the details of an assignment and in the process miss required components, important information, or deadlines.

Formal Diagnostics

  • Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Perseverative: Score at or under the 35th percentile rank.

Intake Questions

  • When you are engaged in an activity, do others find it particularly difficult to get your attention?
  • When you are focused on something, do you find it difficult to change your focus to something else?
  • When something has grabbed your attention, do you become so focused on it that you don't notice what happens around you?
  • What accommodations or strategies have been effective in the past?

Resources

The Building Accepting Campus Communities (BACC) project was funded by the US Department of Education Office of Secondary Education grant #P333A080070-09. The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.