Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a syndrome in which a person has difficulty focusing sustained attention on a task for a significant amount of time.
Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a syndrome in which a person has difficulty focusing sustained attention on a task for a significant amount of time. In some cases this is accompanied by hyperactivity as well. It is currently being diagnosed at an all-time high. Between 1989 and 1996, youth visits for ADD increased 90%, from 1.9% of total physician visits to 3.6%.
Now, a psychiatrist named Dr. Edward Hallowell is making a new distinction. He has described a similar set of characteristics in a large number of patients that he terms Attention Deficit Trait (ADT). It looks a lot like ADD in its day-to-day manifestation, but unlike ADD, ADT symptoms lessen when the sufferer goes on vacation or into a decreased sensory input setting for an extended time period (on the order of days or weeks). In such a long-term placid situation, the ADD sufferer’s problems continue unabated.
Imagine that you have the general set of symptoms described above. But which of the two syndromes are causing your symptoms: the disorder (ADD) or the trait (ADT)? Approach your problem using scientific methodology—developing a question, a hypothesis, an experiment, and a control for the experiment.
The initial question and the experiment that will be performed on you are provided. Your job is to state the hypothesis and to design the most important and most basic control for this experiment.
Your Question: What’s my problem? Is it ADD or ADT?
1. Your Hypothesis: State your hypothesis based directly on the above question.
Your Experiment: Keeping your same diet, sleep habits, and basic activity level, you will be sent on a two-week vacation to the Bahama Islands. You will be given only a beach to walk on and your favorite friend to talk to, following which you will be asked to read and memorize 10 sequential definitions from a standard dictionary in 30 minutes.
2. Your Control for this Experiment: You get a numerical result for the number of definitions you memorized. What does that number mean? Nothing—unless you have a control for your experiment. What is the most obvious control for this experiment?
Major Hint: The study guide for Quiz 1 indicates where this topic is covered in your text. The two figures in that section give you valuable examples. Remember, the initial question and experiment are provided here. Be careful to provide what the assignment is asking for.