Ball, Linden orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5099-0124, Butler, Laurie T., Sherman, Susan M. and Clair-Thompson, Helen St (2023) Attention. In: Cognitive Psychology in a Changing World. Routledge, London, pp. 439-477. ISBN 9781003145851

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Attention is fundamental for most of our daily lives. However, there are limits to our attention, meaning that we cannot attend to all information that we encounter. This chapter examines focused attention, considering theories of attention, whether we can attend to some information and ignore others, and then what happens to unattended information. It then considers visual search, referring to situations in which we need to search our environment to find a particular target. The focus then shifts to divided attention, sometimes referred to as multitasking. The chapter asks whether we can successfully complete several tasks simultaneously, and what factors might influence our ability to do so. Finally, the chapter examines failures in attention, which may occur due to temporal limitations in attention, or an inability to detect an unexpected or changed stimulus due to being selectively focussed on another. The chapter presents research conducted in several domains and highlights the importance of developing an understand of the mechanisms of attention.

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