It’s been a while since I focussed attention on any photo challenge, and I miss them.
Jake says focused 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.
Photography has forced me to focus my attention of details and composition which is difficult for a scattery person like me. Notice that I didn’t say scatter-brained, just scattery meaning not-too focused.
It is relatively easy to force inanimate objects to focus. Manny has no problem with it. Sweetie Pie has a mind of her own, inanimate as she is.
You can focus on a small area of an inanimate object to see if people can guess what it is.
You can crop a picture even closer to focus someone’s attention on an inanimate object and confound them even more. These are ways that photographers have of forcing the viewers to look closely and focus their attention on something.
Even during the chaos of a dinner meeting where there is so much on which to focus, teachers use strategies to draw people’s focused attention.
But what is it about “stuff” that naturally causes animals, including people to focus their attention? Easier to answer, how do you know they are focused?
Obviously PG is interested in something here. I can’t see it, but she is totally absorbed. Her body moves toward the object of her focused attention. Her weight is on her forelegs as indicated by the deep indentations in the bed, and her head is inclined toward the object of her gaze. Usually a dog will use their most heightened sense of smell to help them as well when they are focusing their attention on something. Her tongue is out slightly, too. Hmmm I hope there is nothing edible in my bed!!!
People have many foci of attention in this picture. They too tend to lean in and point, the more focused they become. When I was teaching students to work in cooperative groups for the first time, I actually had students think about what real focus looked like when they were working with a group. The experts at Kagen told us that four of five people to a group is a maximum size. Judging from this picture would you agree that the same principle might hold true for adults as well?
As usual Jake challenges me to think. What strategies do you use in your line of work or play to get people or animals to focus their attention? Where is YOUR focused attention?
Here is a link to what 87 other folks thought.