The average person in today’s society tend to never simply focus on one task a time. A person mind is always clouded with a bunch of stuff that surrounds there life which leads to them possibly forgetting to do things on their “To do lists”, or just simply forgetting something in the house as they may be rushing off to work or school. With the average person today having so much to handle it’s liable for them to forget which leads them to simply doing one or more things at a time. We call this multitasking, but it’s more than just multitasking it is that our attention is divided. Divided attention is what leads us involving ourselves among two or more task at a time (Goldstein pp.91). It is how much we pay attention to one or tasks at a time. Divided attention is broken down into two processes automatic and controlled processing (Goldstein pp. 92-93). Automatic processing is a part of divided attention where a person does something without the intention of doing so; it just happens automatically without the person tending to do it (Goldstein pp. 92). Controlled processing is when a person must pay close attention on a task that is hard and requires much focus to complete. For instance, talking on your phone while driving your car is an example of controlled processing in divided attention, the lack of focus you have while driving is split between paying attention what the person on the phone is talking about and still driving the car but you lose focus on putting your full attention to the task at hand which should be driving because you have to make sure you are pay attention to the road, signs, speed, etc, to avoid an accident. In my everyday my attention is heavily divided between raising my kids, school work and my full-time job. My supervisor gave me a write-up saying that while I am at work my focus should be paying close attention to the clients I must care for because while I am studying and reading for my homework my attention is diverted between caring for the clients and reading for classes. She stated that while I am reading I am not paying attention to the needs of the clients, they might be having a seizure, may be hungry or might be at fall risks and I wouldn’t know because I am focusing on the wrong thing at the wrong time. Another example of how divided attention affects my life is that I always tend to forget things. Every day I leave work I always forget something and once I left and be on my way to pick up my kids from school I remember and then have to return all the way back to my job to retrieve it. This is what is called automatic processing because my intentions weren’t to forget anything at work but it just happened. Divided Attention is something we all go through on a regular basis, we just have to be mindful on how we divide attention because it could cause risk to our lives or make us forgetful.
Goldstein, E. B. (2011, 2008). Cognitive Psychology Connecting Mind, Research, And Everyday Experience. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning .