Attention assumption

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In an educational or explanatory setting, the attention assumption is an assumption that the teacher (or the person explaining the material) makes about the learner (the person the material is being explained to), namely that the learner is paying attention, even though that may not actually be true.

Related notions

  • Illusion of transparency: The teacher assumes that the learner is actually understanding the material, even though the learner is not actually understanding the material.
  • Illusion of competence: The learner assumes that he or she is paying attention and understanding the material. Note that this term is used in a wider context than explanatory settings, and might apply to self-study or group study settings.
  • Double illusion of transparency: The teacher and learner both assume that the learner is understanding the material, even though the learner is not actually understanding the material.