Selective and Divided Attention

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At the highest level of consciousness we are totally aware and focused on what we have selected to pay attention to. This might be lining up to kick a goal or studying for an exam. In this state we are virtually oblivious to other things going on around us. As we move down the consciousness continuum, we find divided attention. Much of the time, our attention is not fully focused on one things and we divide our attention between two sources of information. This lets us do two things at the same time. How successfully we do this depend on how much conscious effort is required for each of the tasks. (Nelson, 2016)

This research guide has been developed for a Year 11 investigation into 'comparing selected and divided attention'. 

The Attention Experiment

Simons, J. (2010, April 28). The monkey business illusion [Video file]. Retrieved from

Attention Overview

Selective and Divided Attention

KhanAcademy. (2013, September 17). Divided attention, selective attention, inattentional blindness, & change blindness. [Video file]. Retrieved from


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