Divided Attention

The Unbearable Distraction of Being Sweet: Performing in the Presence of Candy

Think eating is easy? Think again. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight worldwide in 2016. Of these, over 650 million were obese—a number equivalent to roughly twice the population of the United States. And most of the world’s population lives in countries in which obesity kills more people […]

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Bringing a friend along for the ride: Why are we slower to respond when we’re talking to someone else while driving?

A computational model of mental processing speed in drivers who are holding a conversation suggests that having a passenger in the car is not a distraction, but it does make us more cautious and slower to make decisions. A reality of living in much of the United States and many other parts of the world […]

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Do not let a car drive you to distraction: In Vehicle Information Systems and attention

Maybe I’m a Luddite, but I was shocked to learn that my car can read me my text messages, switch to a song I want to hear, or navigate to my apartment. This is the natural progression of things—voice-based media systems in modern cars are becoming more and more common, especially in cars purchased by […]

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Opening the door to distraction: The open office effect

Better get those headphones: We can’t really ignore task-related noise Like many people, I work in an open office. Workers increasingly find themselves in open offices as companies (and universities) switch to these layouts in a bid to maximize space and reduce building costs. In my case, I work remotely but share a local co-working […]

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