So you are sitting in your 8am class surrounded by other students. You're kind of tired and you didn't do the reading last night because you were too busy catching up on your Netflix queue. Your professor keeps talking and talking and you are staring at the clock lost in your own thoughts. When suddenly, you hear your name and you find the whole class and the professor staring at you, anxiously waiting for a response that you don't have.
Has this ever happened to you? Ever wonder why you can't remember what your professor just asked you?
Well, you've been a victim of selective attention. What is that you may ask? Selective attention is what allows us to tune things in or out, like a radio. It's why In class you may tune into the students having a side conversation about the Kardashians but have absolutely no clue what the professor asks you 2 seconds later. Selective attention is our way of managing all the stimuli that gets thrown at us on a daily basis by filtering out the important from the unimportant.
So next time you are in class, try to tune your selective attention to the professor (even if the subject is boring) so you won't get caught being lost in your thoughts.
For a bit of fun, test your selective attention with this video.