Classification Essay on Types of Attention

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  559 Words
Date:  2022-11-14

Selective Attention

Selective attention is a process where an individual can only concentrate on one thing or sense. People experiencing this process focus on the primary activity that they are interested in and cares less about what goes on in the other areas. For instance, When John went to watch a football match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium, he only focused on how the players performed and did not pay attention to the comments of other fans who would predict the number of goals each team was likely to score.

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Controlled Processing

Controlled processing is intentionally done by an individual where he or she deals with the mental resources so that they can perform an activity that requires various inputs of the mind. For example, a driver uses controlled processing to ensure that he or she can perform all the tasks involved in driving the car. He or she may be required to control the steering wheel, check the side mirror and where to press on the accelerator or the brakes. Additionally, he must be keen on the road signs to avoid accidents.

Automatic Processing

Automatic processing involves practices that are performed quickly by the mind and do not require attention. An individual is unconscious when doing the activities and he or she cannot avoid them since they are noticed after they are done. For example, automatic processing can be observed in Mary who can play the piano even as she talks to other people or when her mind is elsewhere. Her hands are used to the keys, and thus she does need to pay attention to what she does. Automatic Processing is associated with doing something severally, and therefore the mind is used to it.


Vigilance entails a high level of awareness and alertness of the mind to the nature of the environment one is in or the possible dangers that are associated with a particular situation. Vigilance enables an individual to be always prepared on the reaction that he or she should have in case a danger occurs. For example, vigilance is common in the military since the participants are always in the risk of an enemy, but they are also ready to react in case the opponent attacks them.

Cocktail Party Phenomenon

The phenomenon entails selective attention to listen to a single person who is speaking despite other loud conversations that are occurring at the same time. The cocktails party phenomenon is mainly applied in noisy places where everyone is talking, but you are only interested in a single speaker. For example, the phenomenon is applied in a party where each person is talking to another loudly, and maybe the music is still playing in the background. Therefore, cocktail party phenomenon enables an individual to only listen to the person he or she is conversing with.

Divided Attention

Divided attention is the highest level of attention that enables an individual to carry out several activities at the same time. Additionally, it entails the ability of an individual to process and act on information from various sources and respond to it accordingly. The process is also referred to as multitasking. For example, divided attention is evident when one is driving, but still, he or she is having a conversation with another person. Also, a woman may be singing as she cleans the dishes.

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Classification Essay on Types of Attention. (2022, Nov 14). Retrieved from

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