During this course we
have discussed many topics pertaining to cognitive psychology. One topic that
interested me the most was Attention. 
Before discussing this topic I had a preconceived notion of what
attention was. I believed attention was putting your mind to something or
having a set focus on something but I was surprised to learn that is much more
complex than that. Attention limits what we see and is required when detecting
an object. There are different types of attention focused/selective attention
and divided attention.  “Focused
attention is the brain’s ability to concentrate its attention on a target
stimulus for a period of time” (Cognifit, 2017). An example of
focused/selective attention was described by Cherry (1953) who investigated how
people are able to track certain conversations while tuning out other outside
conversations or noises. He called this the “cocktail party” effect. These
experiments were tested by an audio message in each ear. They were specifically
asked to pay attention to one message. The results indicated that when asked to
repeat the message they were able to easily repeat it back but when asked about
what the other message they could not say what was told to them.  “Divided attention is a type of attention
that allows us to process different information sources and carry out multiple
tasks at a time” (Cognifit, 2017). An example of divided attention would be described
in a dual task experiment by Strayer and Johnson (2001) in which driving and
talking on the phone were studied and then driving with no distractions was
studied. Results indicated that when using the phone both braking and reaction
time were significantly slower. Attention was a topic that I did not know much
about before taking this course (like many of the topics we covered) but I was
pleasantly surprised to learn how complex the subject really is. I appreciate
how the class was taught and how much I was able to be involved in the lectures
by solving problems or doing exercises that required not only attention but
many other components of other lectures we studied. Overall, it changed my
perspective on what I thought cognitive psychology was and made me interested
in gaining more knowledge on attention and how us as humans really can put our
focus on one particular thing at a given time or divide our attention between
multiple things at a time.