Attention is a cognitive process that allows you to focus selectively in one stimulus (or several) of the environment without considering the rest.
However, after this concept are included various types of attention which should be known to better understand how it works in the human mind. This is what this article is all about: the different ways that humans are able to focus their attention on certain things, and how they affect our behavior.
The different types of care
As John Ratey (2001), a psychologist and professor at Harvard University, puts it, “attention is not limited to noticing incoming stimuli”. This involves a number of processes, including filtering perceptions, balancing multiple perceptions, and assigning emotional significance to them. furthermore, this attentional focus can focus both on external stimuli and on the content of memory and imagination.
However, beyond knowing the importance of managing the focus of attention, it is important to know the different types of attention that exist, because in many aspects they behave in different ways and also affect us in different ways. varied. The same person may be good at controlling one type of care and much less good at managing another.. However, in general, it is rare to be very good at one of these areas and very bad at others: all types of care tend to approach the average, as is the case with all types of care. psychological characteristics.
So let’s see what these varieties of care are, summarized and classified according to the most important criteria.
According to its width and direction
In the world of sport, it is common to hear about attentional approaches, which can also be applied to different tasks in life. There are four attentional approaches, which take into account the direction (external or internal) and the amplitude of the direction (narrow or wide).
When it comes to the direction of attention, external attention refers to when an individual is focusing on issues outside of themselves, on what is going on around them. however, internal attention refers to when a person pays attention to their internal events, To what’s going on inside.
As for the extent of attention, greater attention is associated with a greater number of stimuli, While reduced attention will allow greater concentration. The direction and breadth of attention combine to create different types of healing, which are as follows.
1. Reduced external attention
Attention is focused on a small number of stimuli outside the person and is related to concentration. For example, when an individual intends to throw a dart and focuses all of their attention on the bull’s-eye.
2. Watch out for the exterior
This type of care focuses on a large number of stimuli outside the person. For example, when a footballer starts a counterattack, he looks up and observes the position of his teammates to make an effective pass.
It is important to know the difference between the two types of external attention in order to maximize athletic performance, because if an athlete is unaware of this difference and initiates a counterattack by focusing on the ball and the watering (reduced external attention), he won’t know. to whom to pass the ball and will therefore miss a precious opportunity to seek the opposing goal.
3. Reduced internal attention
It is characterized because the attention is focused in a small number of stimuli or responses that take place in the body of somebody. For example, when a football player learns how to make petroleum jelly and has to focus on the movements of his own foot and not on getting the petroleum jelly into the goal.
4. Pay attention to the internal scale
This type of attention refers to the fact that a person focuses on a wide range of stimuli or responses that occur in their body. For example, when a person has to fill out an emotional journal and analyze what happened to them during that day and the feelings they felt.
According to the attitude of the individual
Considering the attitude of the individual, attention can be classified in two ways.
5. Voluntary care
It occurs when the individual makes an active and conscious effort to direct attention, that is, he voluntarily focusing on a stimulus.
6. Involuntary care
In this type of care, the person does not make a conscious and active effort, but it is the internal and external stimulus that directs the attention. For example, the sound of a firecracker or a toothache.
According to motor and physiological manifestations
If we take into account motor and physiological manifestations, attention can be divided into:
7. Open attention
The center of attention and the recipients of interest have their orientation towards the source of attention. For example, when someone is talking to us and we are confronted with our verbal and non-verbal language.
8. Secret attention
In this type of care attentional focus and sensory receptors dissociate. For example, when we seem to be paying attention on TV and are actually listening to our partner talking on the phone.
According to the sensory modality
Taking into account the sensory modality. Attention can be of two types.
9. Visual attention
It refers to the spatial arrangement. This phenomenon makes it possible to detect stimuli in a complex visual context.
10. Hearing care
Although we cannot move our ears as well as our eyes to capture different auditory stimuli, yes we can choose what we hearIn other words, we can focus our attention on one auditory stimulus or another.
Other types of care
In addition to the above classifications, there are also other types of care. Here we tell you.
11. Selective attention
This is also called targeted care. It is the ability to select and focus determined attention in a particular stimulus or task. There are different theories dealing with this concept. In the article “Selective Attention: Definition and Theories”, you can read more about this topic.
12. Shared attention
It is the ability to respond and process two or more requests or stimuli simultaneously. It is also known as multitasking. For example, cooking and listening to music at the same time.
13. Alternative care
It is the ability to shift the center of attention from one stimulus to another. For example, read a recipe and prepare food.
14. Sustained attention
It refers to when we have to use attention for a long period of time. For example, when you are playing a video game.
Concentration is reduced external attention, it is a person’s ability to centralize their attention in a sustained and constant manner. Its applications are numerous.
- You can find them out in the article “The importance of focus and attention in sport”
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