Monday, June 4, 2012

Divided Attention

One aspect of Chapter 6 that really peaked my interest was divided attention. I often find my self dividing my attention between several different things at one time. I think especially in todays society divided attention has become an art form in which people multi task between several different situations and technologies at one time.

Divided Attention is the ability to successfully execute more than one action at a time, while paying attention to two or more channels of information/modalities. When people perform a number of tasks in parallel, they must divide their attention, which may weaken performance. Studies suggest that with practice, we can better perform several tasks at a time.
Daily life often demands that we divide our attention. While driving, we may be listening to the radio while paying attention to the road. Simultaneously, we must monitor ourselves and the actions of others to plan our next step. If divided attention declines, our chances of handling two different tasks at once, say, preparing a meal and talking on the phone, will suffer.
One Example of divided attention would be driving a friend home and discussing the days gossip with them. By doing this you are dividing your attention between driving and engaging in conversation. 

1 comment:

  1. Hey Rachel i found this chapter very interesting as well. Its fascinating how we as humans have the ability to multitask and we do so without even realizing it. I have noticed that in our day and time everything is so fast paced that people are basically required to have a good divided attention or their jobs social life will suffer. For instance the other day i was reading a book which requires Selective attention in order to better understand it, but i could not use selective attention rather i was using divided attention because i was paranoid about being late for work and thinking in my head when i would have time to go take my exam, if my clothes were ready from the drier etc. Most of us are lucky enough to have both of these attentions, however we have become such multitasks that we tend to not use our selective attention as much and this can seriously impact our lives negatively like school work.