Attention in English


Attention is the action and the result of attending.

Depending on the context, it may amount to terms such as: courtesy, education, civility, kindness and show of respect. For example: ‘He had a lot of attention with me’. With this meaning, it is especially used in the plural. For example: ‘He gave us a lot of attention.’

In Psychology, ‘attention’ is the ability to perceive certain stimuli. It is also used to define the mechanism that controls and regulates cognitive processes.

In other contexts, used as interjection, the word ‘attention’ serves to warn of something. For example, in the army it is used in this way to indicate that an exercise or maneuver will begin. For farmers, ‘attention’ is a contract for the sale of wool, without price determination, but by referring to another contract made previously. This word comes from the Latin attentĭo, -ōnis.

Psychology Attention

In Psychology, it is understood that attention is a perceptual quality that functions as a filter of sensory stimuli. The attention allows evaluating them and prioritizing those stimuli that they consider most important.

Types of attention

There are several classifications in this regard, which also vary depending on what criteria are used. Depending on the mechanisms used by the person, one can speak of a selective intention (when obviate secondary elements is achieved and stimuli that are not related to an activity being performed), sos care taken (when held steadily during long period of time), divided attention (when one is able to pay attention to two or more stimuli at the same time, useful in the development of complex tasks such as driving). The attention can also be voluntary and involuntary. In the first case, it is produced consciously and can be developed and worked to be improved. In the second case, due more to emotional issues is more difficult to control.

Attention and concentration

The attention and concentration are interrelated. When some element of distraction occurs, concentration is lost. One of the reasons is the set of environmental stimuli that exist while performing a task. Likewise, when the activity requires a mental effort, the human mint can look for another type of activity. For this, it is important to stay focused and avoid possible sources of distraction, which can be internal (pending issues or future plans, for example) and external (street noise, for example).

Customer Support

In the commercial field, ‘customer service‘ is the service provided to people who acquire a good or service. Customer service includes from receipt and information before making a purchase until after-sales follow-up. In large companies there are departments dedicated exclusively to customer service.

Scattered attention

In psychological terms, there are disorders related to attention, such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). In many cases, it is diagnosed by professionals and there are treatments in this regard. In a colloquial way, when there is a difficulty in maintaining attention and concentration in a given task or in a generic way, one usually speaks of ‘dispersed attention‘, referring to not being able to focus attention on a certain activity.