On a daily basis, we live constantly surrounded by distractions of all kinds. But when we decide to focus on one thing at a time, it means we ignore all the other things going on around us.
Even if you say to yourself, “I am very aware of my surroundings, I can stay focused your brain proves otherwise.
To determine your ability to concentrate, there is a simple test you can take called the Selective Attention Test. Just scroll down to do it!
This 20 second test was created to determine how well your brain is able to concentrate.
All you need to do is watch the video below and count how many times the players in white pass the basketball. Easy, isn’t it? Take the test and see how you do.
@drjuliesmith Selective Attention Test. Quick example of selective attention credit@ dothetest & tfl #psychology #psychologyfacts #psychologytest #psychologytricks ♬ original sound – Dr Julie | psychologist
Now that the video is over, how many passes do you think there were?
Did you find 12 passes in total? If so, you are correct.
But did you notice the gorilla in the video? Play back the video and see if you can spot it.
If you didn’t see it the first time you watched the video, know that other people are in the same situation. In fact, more than half of the people who took the test didn’t see the gorilla either.
But why did your brain focus on the task at hand, completely ignoring the gorilla? This is called selective attention.
What is Selective Attention?
This particular psychology test was designed by Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabristo in 1999 to show how selective attention works.
Selective attention is a cognitive process that allows a person to focus their attention on a specific task or information, while ignoring distractions or irrelevant information. This can be seen as a sort of information filtering, which allows cognitive resources to be focused on what is important for the current task.
Selective attention is considered to be a key component of human cognition, and it is studied in many fields, including cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence sciences. Simply put, selective attention occurs when your brain allows you to focus on certain objects or ideas while ignoring distractions.
For example, you have housework to do. You have to do the dishes but you have a kitten that demands attention, the television is on and the weather is nice outside. Selective attention keeps you focused on the dishes instead of going out, playing with your kitten, or watching TV. It keeps you from seeing/hearing distractions around you for a while so you can get things done.
What is the selective attention test used for?
The test is usually done by measuring the effectiveness of how well participants can handle one source of information and ignore others at the same time.
Selective attention is extremely important because it works like a filter that allows our brain to be more efficient when performing tasks.
How to improve your ability to concentrate?
There are several ways to improve your ability to concentrate. Here are some of the most commonly used methods:
1. Meditation: Meditation can help improve the ability to concentrate by training the mind to be calmer and more focused.
2. Yoga: Yoga can also help improve concentration by focusing on movement and breathing.
3. Reducing distractions: Avoiding distractions such as cell phones, notifications, and emails can help improve the ability to focus on a given task.
4. Task scheduling: Scheduling time to focus on one task at a time can help improve the ability to focus on that task.
5. Deep Breathing: Deep breathing can help improve concentration by bringing more oxygen to the brain.
6. Regular physical exercise: Exercise can help improve concentration by increasing blood circulation in the brain.
It is important to note that improving focus can take time and requires regular practice. It’s also important to see a doctor if you have persistent problems concentrating.
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Do you have good concentration skills? Take this 20-second psychological test to find out!
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