Friday, May 15, 2015

Do People Have More ADD Than Dogs?

Humans have a shorter attention span than goldfish?
A study of 2,000 people found that the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds to 8 seconds, which is less than that of a goldfish (nine seconds).

I have always said that dogs have epic ADD, and for a simple reason: they are bombarded by scents we cannot discern, have pent up prey drive we cannot fully understand, and get all kinds of cues from other dogs and animals that we are completely unaware of.

Combine that with a much simpler mind wired for immediate binary choices, and we have an animal whose attention is constantly shifting, always looking for some higher form of stimulation.

And yet that description comes pretty close to describing the modern human.

The modern human is constantly looking for more stimulation, our concentration drifting from TV screen, to computer screen, to telephone screen, to... Woah! Was that a squirrel?


Michael said...

Sad but predictable. Get off Twitter. Drop those devices.

jeffrey thurston said...

Wow! A "study" by a bunch of acronym-producing professional bullshitter neuro"scientists" has determined that we (whoever that is) have shorter attention spans! Did you follow the links to the actual study? My God man- it is a perfect illustration of what you speak of above in your Kennel Club post. We are doomed- our love of "experts" is producing copious bullshit in all aspects of life- we are drowning in it! Any modern soft science, current history, economics and politics has become as untrue and obfuscated as any religion or stupid belief system of old.

PBurns said...

Field test it yourself at your local coffee place of choice. Randomly pick 5 people and jot down how often they change focus in one minute. It's a pretty interesting way to spend 5 minutes -- you become a little Sherlock Holmes! How often do they tap the screen, change news articles, reach for the coffee, stand up, talk, go to the bathroom, etc.

A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information and the National Library of Medicine found that 79 per cent of respondents in the U.S. engaged in dual-screening — watching portable devices while watching TV. Some 52 per cent check our phones every 30 minutes. I do all of that and much more routinely -- activity unheard of 10 years ago.

But watch people at the coffee house. It's an interesting way to spend 5 1-minutes.

jeffrey thurston said...

I totally agree- observing people is very interesting- and I can see with my own 11 year old an uncanny ability to use 3 screens (phone, computer, video game) all the while wearing 2 headphones- one on each ear. My problem is with the $150,000 a year leering scam artists (neuroscientists, psychologists and the like) who make hay with these obvious observations. it is such leaky "science" that any conclusion can be reached and any casual observation can be confirmed- or not- whichever sounds more sciency. Human nature is best observed by novelists and artists as it has been since ever- I've learned more from this blog (about the relationship between man and dog) than I ever could by perusing 1,000 fake studies produced by fake scientists.