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We Have a Shorter Attention Span than a Goldfish

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Humans Have Less Attention than a Goldfish
Microsoft study finds technology a key factor

A goldfish has an average attention span of 9 seconds, but a new Microsoft study concludes the average human has only 8 seconds before losing focus.

The study cites that technology has changed the way our brains function, stating, “Heavy multi-screeners find it difficult to filter out irrelevant stimuli — they’re more easily distracted by multiple streams of media.”

The study also cites that on the positive side, our ability to multitask has greatly improved. But is this true? Not likely. Numerous studies concluded that the human brain does not multitask well. It takes twice the time to complete a task as it would if one did not multitask. Secondly, a great example of our brains’ limited capacity to multitask is texting while driving. These are two tasks we do quite well when we do them independently. However, combining them is more dangerous than drunk driving.

Knowing our depleted attention capabilities, movies and TV shows are cut into approximately 7 – 8 second increments before switching the camera view. This not only accommodates our limitations, but likely causes continued decreased attention.

What’s the key to increasing attention? Attention is a skill. Practice it. Read. Put down the screen. Talk with human beings face to face about something important. Exercise. The list is long…we just feel lucky if you’ve read this far!

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