Kahneman's Theory Of Attention

920 Words4 Pages
According to Matlin (1983), attention also refers to the concentration and focusing of mental efforts, that is, a focus that is selective, shiftable and divisible. According to most proponents of attention, if we devote some portion of our mental resources to one task, less will be available for other tasks. Furthermore, if a task is complex and unfamiliar, the more mental resources must be allocated to perform the task successfully. Divided attention is based on the fact that we are able to divide our mental, attention related resources and focus is on multiple tasks or ideas at the same time. Divided attention tends to decrease the amount of attention being allocated to a particular or idea if there are multiple focuses going on at once.…show more content…
It describes how demanding the processing of a particular input from the environment might be. Therefore Kahneman proposes that s some activities are more demanding and therefore require more mental effort and capacity than other. The total available processing capacities may be increased or decreased by other factors such as arousal, enduring dispositions, momentary intentions and evaluation of demands on capacity. This theory postulates that several activities can be carried out simultaneously, provided that their total effort does not exceed the available capacity. There are rules and strategies which determine allocation of resources to different activities and to the various stages of processing. The limited attentional capacity will therefore reflect the demands made at the perceptual level. More than one task is performed at any particular point in time, thus, there is less capacity for each task to be executed in the long run performance is impaired. People apparently can carry out different activities at simultaneously until one or more of these activities become difficult. In this case, more effort is required, and performance on one or both may be diminished. This theory also proposes that people seem to have a level of control over on how to distribute their finite resources among different…show more content…
An attentional resource is defined as a commodity of limited availability that enables the execution and performance of a task" (Wickens 1984, p. 67). According to Multiple Resource Theory, "there is more than one commodity in the human processing system that may be assigned resource-like properties such as allocation, flexibility, sharing)," (Wickens 1984, p. 78). . If two tasks fully use available mental resources, increasing the difficulty of one task will hinder performance on the task. If two tasks use separate mental resources, increasing the difficulty of one task will not affect performance on the other task. According to Wicken’s theory, placing priority on certain tasks determines how attentional resources are

More about Kahneman's Theory Of Attention

Open Document