A responsiveness, awareness, focus, consideration, concentration, orientation, direction, intention, or purpose--related to every aspect of visual arts experience - and, applied, more or less clearly in terms of its relationship to situation, context, experience, responsivess, thought, perspective, objective, subject content, topic, motif or theme. . . .in tone, attitude, import, adventure, mood, humor. . . .pace, contiguence, variation, substantiation. . . .
A t t e n t i o n
Selective attention refers to the fact that we give some messages priority and put others on hold (Johnston & Dark, 1986). Psychologists have found it helpful to think of selective attention as a sort of bottleneck, or narrowing in the information channel linking the senses to perception (Reed, 1988). When one message enters the bottleneck, it seems to prevent others from passing through. This may be why it is very difficult to listen to two people speaking at once. Typically, you can "tune in" one person or the other, but not both. [Coon, Dennis. Introduction to Psychology, Exploration and Application. St. Paul: West Publishing Company, 1989. Chapter: Perceiving]
Divided attention often arises from our limited capacity for storing and thinking about information. At any moment, you must divide your mental effort among tasks, each of which requires more or less attention. However, as skill becomes more automatic, it requires less attention. Are some stimuli more attention-getting than others? Yes. Very intense stimuli usually command attention. Stimuli that are brighter, louder, or larger tend to capture attention: A gunshot in a library would be hard to ignore. Big, bright cars probably get more tickets than small, dull ones. Loud, irritating comedian Don Rickles has made a career out of the first principle of attention. Repetitious stimuli are also attention-getting. A dripping faucet at night makes little noise by normal standards, but because of repetition, it may become as attention-getting as a single sound many times louder. This effect is used repeatedly, so to speak, in television and radio commercials. Attention is ALSO frequently related to CONTRAST or CHANGE in stimulation. The contrasting type styles draw attention because they are unexpected. Norman Mackworth and Geoffrey Loftus (1978) found that people focus first and longest on unexpected objects. [Coon, Dennis. Introduction to Psychology, Exploration and Application. St. Paul: West Publishing Company, 1989. Chapter: Perceiving]
Most basic sources of attention. Change, contrast, and incongruity are perhaps the most basic sources of attention. We quickly habituate (respond less) to predictable and unchanging stimuli. [Coon, Dennis. Introduction to Psychology, Exploration and Application. St. Paul: West Publishing Company, 1989. Chapter: Perceiving]
C O N S I D E R:
Presence, Apply oneself, Be consequent
Attend, Notice, Bend to, Go with, Accompany
State of Consciousness
Civility, Politeness, Courtesy
Take care, heed, wait, expect, take charge, watch over
R E F E R E N C E S
Attention 1. the act or faculty of attending, esp. by directing the mind to an object. 2. Psychol. a. a concentration of the mind on a single object or thought. b. a state of consciousness characterized by such concentration. 3. observant care; consideration; notice: Individual attention is given each child. 4. civility or courtesy: attention to a stranger. 5. attentions, acts of courtesy indicating affection, as in courtship. 6. Mil. a. a command to stand or sit in an erect position with eyes to the front, arms to the sides, and heels together. b. the act or state of so standing or sitting: at attention. -interj. 7. (used to call one to attention, as in the military services or in school.) [ME attencioun < L attentión- (s. of atttentió) = attent(us) attentive + -ión -ION]
-Syn. 1. awareness, watchfulness, alertness. 4. deference, politeness, civility or courtesy
Attend. 1. to be present at: to attend a lecture; to attend church. 2. to go with; accompany: a cold attended with fever. 3. to take care of or wait upon; minister to: The nurse attended the patient daily. 4. to take charge of or watch over; to attend oneÍs health. 5. to listen to; give heed to. 6. Archaic, to wait for; expect. -v.i. 7. to take care or charge: to attend to a sick person. 8. to apply oneself: to attend to oneÍs work. 9. to pay attention; listen or watch attentively. 10. to be present: She was invited to the wedding but did not attend. 11. to follow; be consequent [usually fol. by on or upon). [ME attende(n) < OF attend(re) < L attendere to bend to, notice.
[Urdang, Laurence, ed. Random House Dictionary of The English Language. New York: Random House, 1968.]
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