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Definition

Attention refers to a wide variety of phenomena, including arousal, alertness, consciousness, and awareness. In general, however, attention is defined as both a process of concentration, such as trying to remember, understand, or search for information, and a mental resource that has limited capacity. Attention is selective in that it involves focusing on a certain stimulus to the exclusion of others.

Focus of Attention

The focus of attention may be an external stimulus (e.g., a telephone, another person, or traffic) or an internal mental event (e.g., thinking about your day or trying to recall a name or past event). Stimuli that stand out, that is, are more salient, tend to capture a person's attention. The salience of a stimulus depends on the larger social context. Stimuli that ...

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