What is Attention and Its Different Types?

Attention and its types
Know about the types of Attention.

Attention refers to the cognitive ability of an individual to concentrate on specific stimuli and respond to them accordingly. Attention is an essential component of our life, which we are born with. Therefore, attention is an integral part of our life, and it is needed in almost every aspect of our life, such as: attending school, interacting with others and in work or professions. 

Types of Attention:

  • Divided attention- This is the type of attention in which an individual can concentrate on two stimuli. For example: watching television and having dinner together. 
  • Sustained attention- This is the type of attention in which an individual can stay concentrated on a specific stimulus over a long period. For example: reading a novel.
  • Selective attention- This is the type of attention in which an individual stays focused on a stimulus in the presence of other distractive stimuli—for example, a conversation between you and your friend in a public place. 
  • Alternating attention- This is the type of attention in which individuals can switch their concentration back and forth between two stimuli. For example: ironing your clothes and listening to a radio show. 

Attention is a cognitive ability everyone beholds after they are born. However, many individuals may face difficulties keeping their attention consistent and may have other cognitive challenges. For example, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a psychological disorder associated with an individual’s ability to stay attentive towards something. 

Listed below are some ways through which attention can be improved:

  • Try to avoid multitasking. Try to do one task at a time instead of trying to all at once. It will allow you to stay completely focused on the task and complete it with the best effort.
  • Make sure you get enough sleep. Allowing the brain to rest is very important, which is possible through sleeping well. Try to get adequate sleep, a minimum of eight hours for adults and 9 to 10 hours for young children.
  • Maintain a healthy diet enriched with protein, fibre, lots of vegetables, and fruits. 
  • Practice mindfulness. It is the practice of paying attention to the present moment.