What is attention?

  • (noun): A motionless erect stance with arms at the sides and feet together; assumed by military personnel during drill or review.
    Example: "The troops stood at attention"
    See also — Additional definitions below


Attention is the cognitive process of selectively concentrating on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things. Attention has also been referred to as the allocation of processing resources. Attention also has variations amongst cultures. Voluntary attention develops in specific cultural and institutional contexts through engagement in cultural activities with more competent community members.

Read more about Attention.

Some articles on attention:

Attention - Cultural Variation in Indigenous Communities
... al (1993) demonstrates that attention can be focused in skilled ways on more than one activity at a time, which can be seen in different communities and cultures ... Children appear to develop patterns of attention related to the cultural practices of their families, communities, and the institutions in which they participate ...

More definitions of "attention":

  • (noun): A courteous act indicating affection.
    Example: "She tried to win his heart with her many attentions"
  • (noun): The faculty or power of mental concentration.
    Example: "Keeping track of all the details requires your complete attention"
  • (noun): The work of caring for or attending to someone or something.
    Example: "The old car needed constant attention"
    Synonyms: care, aid, tending
  • (noun): A general interest that leads people to want to know more.
    Example: "She was the center of attention"
  • (noun): The process whereby a person concentrates on some features of the environment to the (relative) exclusion of others.
    Synonyms: attending

Famous quotes containing the word attention:

    This is really the common mentality of prisoners: they read with great attention all the articles that deal with illnesses and send away for treatises and “be your own doctor” or “emergency treatments” and end up by discovering that they have at least 300 or 400 illnesses, whose symptoms they are experiencing.
    Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937)

    It has lately been drawn to your correspondent’s attention that, at social gatherings, she is not the human magnet she would be. Indeed, it turns out that as a source of entertainment, conviviality, and good fun, she ranks somewhere between a sprig of parsley and a single ice- skate. It would appear, from the actions of the assembled guests, that she is about as hot company as a night nurse.
    Dorothy Parker (1893–1967)

    The obsession with suicide is characteristic of the man who can neither live nor die, and whose attention never swerves from this double impossibility.
    E.M. Cioran (b. 1911)