On the basis of a research among pupils of the first grade of Prague elementary schools the author tries to describe and characterize the manifestations of distracted children. In the solving of concrete tasks children’s distractedness appears as a tendency to make a hasty, premature synthesis without proper and adequate analysis. The associations of distracted children, particularly the associations between words and their meanings, are looser than those of concentrated pupils. In the tasks requiring a higher degree of abstraction, distractedness manifests itself in the fact that pupils adopt their standpoint hastily, state their reasons for it in a superficial manner, easily recall their reasons and replace them by other reasons, again mostly superficial.
In his endeavour to grasp the substance of this quality, the author states the assumption th at distractedness is conditioned by the peculiarity of the nervous system of some children. It manifests itself as general restlessness, fluctuating attention and ever-changing, unstable motivation. According to the author distractedness does not depend solely on education, as can be in directly concluded from the fact that the environments of distracted children are very different. Distractedness manifests itself with great force in a situation of conflict, as the reactions of these children to failure at school testify .
During the research it was possible to observe two varieties of distractedness. One is the result of unstable in terest and distracted attention, the other is closely connected with the endeavour to excel. The latter form of distractedness is probably more dependent on education and can be easily overcome by some constructive manual occupation.