Tech

Is the span of attention really collapsing?The data show that the UK people are worried, but they also see the benefits of technology.

Credit: King’s College London

The envisioned “war of attention” claim has seen new technologies condemning our diminished concentration, but a major new study of the British people by the Policy Institute and Attention Research Center at Kings College in London. Reveals a more subtle situation.


On the other hand, we don’t know how engrossed we are in our technology and are worried. caution Shortened:

  • Adults in the UK significantly underestimate how often they check their cell phones, and research shows that the reality is up to 80 times a day, so on average 25 times a day. I think there is.
  • Fifty percent say that despite their best efforts, they may not be able to stop checking their smartphones when they need to focus on other things. middle aged Not only young people.
  • People are more likely not to feel that their attention is shorter than before (49% vs. 23%).

However, these perceptions may be related to some commonly believed myths. Attention span— And many of us are still aware of the big positive impact of technology, and we don’t hold Big Tech all the responsibility.

  • Half (50%) mistakenly believe that the average attention duration for adults today is only 8 seconds.
  • Fifty-one percent say technology is ruining the attention of young people, but a similar percentage (47%) believe that distracting is simply the result of people’s personality.
  • 60% say that immediate access to information helps them find solutions to their problems at work and in their lives.
  • Fifty-one percent say that frequent switching between multitasking, email, phone, or other tasks at work creates a more efficient and satisfying work experience. In contrast, 32% think that is not the case.

Goldfish attention span?

Many British are wrong with the common claim that the average attention of adults today is only 8 seconds, probably worse than goldfish. This claim has been made clear, but 50% falsely believe it is true, compared to 25% who correctly recognize it as false.

Crisis of attention?

It is important to recognize that the lack of long-term research means that it is not possible to determine whether attention has actually diminished.But nevertheless, at least Public awareness Deterioration of our concentration:

  • Half of the population (49%) feel that their attention is less than before, but about a quarter (23%) oppose it.
  • In particular, the belief that adolescents’ attention is worse than before is even more widespread, and two-thirds, including six in ten (58%), believe this is the case (66%). -The youngest age group surveyed.
  • 47% say that “deep thinking” is a thing of the past. The percentage of people who disagree with this view is about double (23%).

The impact of technology

It’s true that research has shown that technology can interfere with our concentration.For example, switch attention Social media, Smartphones, tablets, televisions, radios, or other media impair the ability to complete simple tasks. This is what 67% of the general public is aware of.

Many believe that more should be done to deal with this type of impact. Fifty-one percent of adults in the UK believe that tech companies and social media are in the spotlight of young people, and the government needs to manage to prevent this.

But at the same time, many believe that a similar percentage (47%) believes that the reason some people are distracted is not because of technology, but because it is part of their personality. Feels that technology brings significant benefits.

  • 60% say that making instant information in multiple formats readily available will help them find solutions to problems they face at work, in their personal lives, or elsewhere. 11% disagree.
  • Fifty-one percent say that frequent switching between multitasking, email, phone, or other tasks at work creates a more efficient and satisfying work experience. In contrast, 32% think that is not the case.
  • From 43% to 28%, the general public is likely to say that using social media with other forms of entertainment, such as television and radio, enhances enjoyment by connecting with others. Become.

The pace and complexity of modern life

Without research to track long-term attention, it remains unclear whether technology has caused a loss of national concentration.But comparison with Survey data From the past few decades, we can see that with some measures, the public is at least feeling more pressure now than in the past.

  • Forty-one percent of adults in the UK say their pace of life is too fast these days, compared to 30 percent in 1983.
  • 60% say they want to make their lives simpler. This is an increase from 49% in 2008.

The UK is made up of four groups with different views on attention and technology.

According to a new statistical analysis, the country is made up of four different groups with very different views on attention and technology.

“Positive Multi Screener” (42% in the UK)

Very enthusiastic user. An avid information searcher; relaxed in terms of information management. While some attention concerns are widespread, the wealth of information available offers many benefits. This is the largest group in the population and confirms that not all of us see negative technology trends.

“Stressed tech addicts” (21 percent)

It will be full of information. Very enthusiastic users who understand the benefits of having these sources, especially social media. However, the greatest concern about what it is doing with attention has spread and I believe it is causing the end of deeper thoughts.

“Overloaded Septics” (21%)

It will be full of information. We are very concerned about diminished attention and loss of deeper thinking, but far more negative about the value social media brings than “stressed tech addicts.”

“Freed and no problem” (17%)

Not interested in searching for information; no concerns have been expressed regarding the span of attention or the amount of information. And he barely noticed the signs of a “war of caution.”


Human attention lags behind goldfish, according to a Microsoft study


For more information:
Are we paying your attention? How people live in a modern information environment: www.kcl.ac.uk/policy-institute…tion-environment.pdf

Quote: Is the span of attention really collapsing? The data show that the general public in the UK is worried, but from https: //phys.org/news/2022-02-attention-spans-collapsing-uk-technology.html February 16, 2022 See also Technology Benefits Acquired on Date (February 16, 2022).

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Is the span of attention really collapsing?The data show that the UK people are worried, but they also see the benefits of technology.

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