(To what) are you paying attention?

................................................................................................................................................................................


Goal directed [Selective] attention

One's currently active goal drives what one attends to in the busy real world.

An active goal (e.g., to find something to eat) caused the mental representations relevant to attaining the goal (e.g., restaurants, bodegas) to become somewhat more active than usual and thus more ready to become activated by corresponding stimuli in the environment.

Selective attention is a powerful tool in the reduction of the often overwhelming abundance of information available in the current environment.

It is sometimes quite striking how powerful this selective attention process is in reducing what 'gets through' to influence us; the phenomenon of 'inattentional blindness' being a dramatic example.

In one study, for example, participants involved in a computer-simulated three person 'ball toss' game very often did not notice - and were surprised to find out later - when a large gorilla walked right through the game across the middle of the screen.

[John A. Bargh]
'What have we been priming all these years? On the development, mechanisms, and ecology of nonconscious social behaviour' published in European Journal of Social Psychology, Jan 2006, p.158, 159


................................................................................................................................................................................

Related posts:-
Guiding Fiction

1 comment:

  1. When we are hungry we may notice more places where we can eat, and in doing so not notice other things. Our drives can greatly influence our perception of the world, and define our experience.

    It's a simple truth, but one worth remembering; you can't stop to smell the roses when you don't even see any roses in the first place.

    ReplyDelete