Kids aren’t known for their concentration, but they may have grown-ups beat when it comes to seeing the bigger picture. New research published in Psychological Science suggests that kids’ lack of laser-focus actually helps them take in more of the world than adults do.

Researchers recruited 35 adults and 34 children between the ages of 4 and 5 for two experiments. The first experiment tested how well both kids and adults detected changes in shapes. The second tested how much they noticed about the shape in relation to its surroundings. While adults were better at noticing when a shape shifted — a result of having sharper focus — children were better at seeing everything, not just the isolated object.

Kids’ sponge-like minds aren’t as good at filtering out information, but as a result, they take in things that adults, with our narrow focus, often miss. Whether you’re trying to see the bigger picture in your personal goals, at work, or in your relationships, this a nice reminder that acting like a kid now and again is a smart idea.

Read more about the study in this Wall Street Journal piece.

Originally published at