Attention Span: BCM240 · BCM240

4. Attention Span- Secondary Research and Overall Evaluation

The idea of media multitasking is described in the research project “Cognitive Control in Media Multitaskers,” published by Stanford University in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2011). It explains how overtime we have become multitaskers when it comes to media, meaning that when watching TV we are also on our phones or when we are on our laptops we are also texting people or listening to music. This reinforces what was found in the first primary research because while the younger people were watching TV they also spent a lot of time on their phones.

This quote from suggests that attention spans are getting smaller and smaller:

The average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish is nine seconds, but according to a new study from Microsoft Corp., people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds, highlighting the affects of an increasingly digitalized lifestyle on the brain. (McSpadden, 2015)

Younger generations are surrounded by technology a lot more than older ones which can suggest why in the primary research that the younger age group got distracted a lot more times than the older age group. And as the younger generations progress and become older it is causing the average attention span of the population to get lower and lower. suggests that it is not just simply older generations have longer attention spans and younger generations have shorter ones and that is how it will always be, the difference in attention spans is in the same as the difference in how they grew up. Older generations didn’t grew up with technology around them but younger ones did and that is the key cause to shortened attention span. “Attention span is connected directly to the presence of mind necessary to sincerely engage in person-to-person interaction. How often do the younger generations eschew the focus of personal interaction for the sake of not missing the internet happening of the day?” (Harrington, 2015)


I was most shocked by the fact that technology was the cause for the reduction of attention spans because all these technological break throughs are seen as so good and improving the community. I guess that not everything is as good as it seems and that when things move so quickly and develop so fast the cons are always seen until it is too late.

It was funny to find out that a lot of people compare human attention span to a gold fish’s attention span when I was going my secondary research because often if a person loses attention quickly a popular comment to make it that you an attention span of a gold fish but everyone thinks that it is just an exaggeration but it is slowly becoming true. As the kids that grew up with technology become the older generations this will become more and more real.

The connection from the primary research to the secondary was really evident, I hadn’t done much secondary research until after my primary research and it was interesting to see the link. The only difference between the research was that the secondary research explained why. Why the attention spans and different and how.



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