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.
YourQuestion:What’s my problem? Is it ADD or ADT?