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  1. 1. Attention Deblina Roy M.Sc. Psychiatric Nursing. Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry KGMU.
  2. 2. Objectives  Introduction  Definition  Characteristics.  types  Uses  Factors influencing attention.
  3. 3. Introduction  Attention is the focus of consciousness on a particular object or idea at a particular time , to the exclusion of other objects or ideas.
  4. 4. Definition  Attention is defined as a process which compels the individual to select a particular stimulus according to his interest and attitude out of the multiple stimuli of the environment. (Sharma RN-1967) Attention is the concentration of consciousness upon one object rather than upon another. (Dumyille- 1938)
  5. 5. Characteristics of attention  It is a selective mental activity  It constantly shifts from one object to another or from one aspect to another.  Attention is focus of the consciousness on one particular object.  Attention is the state of preparedness or alertness of  Attention requires some motor and sensory adjustments on the part of the person being attentive.
  6. 6. Types or varieties of attention. Attention Voluntary Involuntary
  7. 7. Voluntary attention  Requires conscious effort on the part of the person.  Eg: problem solving, answering in the examination.  Furthur types 1. Implicit volitional attention 2. Explicit volitional attention
  8. 8. Implicit volitional attention  A single act of will is responsible for arousing attention.  Eg home work given by teacher and the fear of punishment mat arouse attention in the student to complete the given tasks.
  9. 9. Explicit volitional attention  Attention is obtained by repeated acts of will.  One has to struggle hard for keeping oneself attentive.it requires strong will power and motivation to keep the attention focused.  Eg: during the preparatory days of the examiantion.
  10. 10. Involuntary attention  This type of attention is aroused without the conscious effort .  Eg: bright lights, loud noise and strong odours, pain etc.  This type of attention can be aroused by instincts called enforced non volitional attention.  Attention given due to preformed sentiments , to people objects and things.
  11. 11. Uses  It provides strength and ability to continue the task despite the obstacles present in the environment.  Helps in better organization of the perceptual field for maximum clarity and understanding.  It helps by providing the deeper concentration by focusing ones consciousness upon required object or idea.  Helps in bringing mental alertness and preparedness.
  12. 12. Methods for arousing attention  Certain factors produce and control the condition of attention in the person.  It can be to types:  External factors  Internal factors.
  13. 13. External factors  Nature of the stimuli:  The attributes of the stmuli are more likely to arouse attention and allow concentration  Shape , color , beauty, odditiy,  Picutres are more likely to attract attention than that of the text.
  14. 14. External factors  Intensity of the stimuli:  The strngth of the stimuli determines the attention it receives  Like a loudness of sound the brightness of colors etc.
  15. 15. External factors  Size of the stimulus :  General rule is that the bigger the stimuli the more attention it attracts and if the item or object is unlikely in an environment then that is also more likely attract attention.
  16. 16. External factors  Contrast of the stimuli:  Change and contrast usually attract more of attention, we do not notice the ticking of the watch usually but when it stops we notice it  Novelty or newness attracts attention.
  17. 17. External factors  Location of the stimulus :  The area where the stimulus s located is also important for attracting the attention as  advertisements on the upper-half or on the front page attracts more attention than being located elsewhere.
  18. 18. External factors  Repetition of the stimulus :  A repeated stimulus attracts our attention.  A mis-spelt word in the same paragraph for more than 2 times tends to get noticed more often.  But the excessive repetition of the stimulus can also diminish the attention.  Eg: people working in a factory with loud noise become adjusted to that environment.
  19. 19. External factors  Motion of the object:  The moving stimulus attracts more attention than the stagnant one.
  20. 20. External factors  Definite form of the object:  A sharply defined object attracts more attention than a vaguely defined object.
  21. 21. External factors  Isolation of the stimulus:  Isolation is an important determinant of the attention. A black dot in a middle of a white page attracts more attention than , a dot in a written page.
  22. 22. Internal Factors  Interest and attention:  Interest is a very helpful factor in securing attention.  People tend to pay more attention to the items and ideas which they are more interested.
  23. 23. Internal Factors  Motives :  The basic drives and urges of the individual are more important in securing his attention.  Hunger , thirst , curiosity and sex are some motives.
  24. 24. Internal Factors  Mental set up:  A person always attends to one subject which the mind has a set.  During exam any talk about it attracts the attention.
  25. 25. Internal Factors  Past experience :  Learning and previous experience facilitate attention.  If we find that certain thing has been beneficial in the past we give more attention to it in the present.
  26. 26. Internal Factors  Emotion  The emotional state of he individual determines the attention the person will put to any certain stimuli.
  27. 27. Internal Factors  Habits:  Habit is also an important determinant of attention.  A person develops a habit of attending to important things and a habit of not attending to the unimportant things.
  28. 28. Internal Factors  Aims:  The personal Aims of the person also guides his ability to attend to certain stimuli.  Meaning :  The internal meaning of the stimuli also deposits the meaning to the methods.  Disposition and temperament of the person.
  29. 29. Duration of Attention  Span of attention  The maximum amount of attention that can be attended in period of the is called span of attention.
  30. 30. Span of attention Visual attention Auditory attention
  31. 31. Visual attention  The visual attention span is very less the time of exposure is very short ranging from 1/100 to 1/5 of a second.  The mind can attend to only 4 or 5 separate units if the items are not grouped together.  But if the items are combined into meaningful wholes, for instance words, a large number of items can be perceivd at once.
  32. 32. Span of auditory attention  The number of auditory, impressons perceived at a single instance is slightly greater.  An adult can perceive eight sounds given rapidly in succsession . But when sounds are given a rhythm, a much larger number of sounds can be perceived.
  33. 33. Duration of Attention  It referrers to how long one can attend to an object without a break.  The duration of attention depends uopn the nature of the stimulus and the interest of the observer.
  34. 34. Sustained attention (concentration)  To sustain attention is to concentrate ones activities continuously upon one subject.  The individual attention always remains on track and activity proceeds without any serious distractions.
  35. 35. Summary
  36. 36. Any questions?  Tomorrow we will study distraction
  37. 37. Conclusion  Attention is one of the most important higher order mental functions.  Its cardinal for assessing the mentally ill patients.  Alteration in the attention span and its ability can lead to diagnosis of various psychopathologies.  Correctly assessing the attention in MSE can give us insight about the psychiatric illness.